What is cast iron?
Cast iron is a ferrous metal alloy that is composed primarily of iron, carbon, and silicon, but can also contain minor amounts of other elements including sulfur, manganese, and phosphorus. It is usually created by melting iron and scrap steel in a furnace and then pouring the molten metal into molds. Cast iron gets its name from the process of pouring hot metal into a cast, or a molded vessel, which then solidifies to form the desired shape.
Is cast iron recyclable?
Is your cast iron skillet worn out? Is your outdated radiator becoming more of a nuisance than a help? No problem. Cast iron is totally recyclable.
Since iron is the main component of steel, you should refrain from throwing it away. Your used cast iron appliances can be melted down and crafted into something brand new, and you can even get money for it!
What are the benefits of recycling cast iron?
Recycling cast iron provides environmental, economic, and social benefits. When cast iron is recycled instead of being thrown away, it reduces the amount of material that ends up in landfills. Recycling also conserves energy and reduces the demand for natural resources used in the production of new metal products. Additionally, it creates jobs and supports the economy.
What are some cast iron items that can be recycled?
- Skillets, Pots, and Pans – Cast iron kitchen tools have been a popular choice among cooks and chefs due to their incredible durability and unparalleled safety. While aluminum and stainless steel versions have been a cheaper option for years, studies have found that cast iron is still fairly popular among even the younger generations of cooks. Cast iron kitchen tools are capable of handling high-heat and cooking food evenly, which is perfect for searing meats and sautéing vegetables.
- Radiators – While they require much more time to heat, cast iron radiators retain thermal energy for much longer than steel or aluminum radiators. This creates a more consistent, long-lasting heat output. If you’re considering removing your old cast iron radiator, consider asking a professional to help you remove it. Then bring it in for recycling.
- Pipes – In the early phases of modern plumbing, PVC had not yet been considered a viable option for piping. This means that plenty of older homes that were built before the 1970’s will most likely contain cast iron pipes. Cast iron was originally used because of its durability and expected longevity. It could transfer the flow of hot water and sewage without retaining damages. However, with home updates, home builders and plumbers have switched to PVC for ease of installment. If you’re looking to replace rusted cast iron pipes, consider recycling them before throwing them in your trash can.
- Bathtubs – A cast iron tub can last for many years. It’s thicker than bathtubs constructed from other material, and it’s covered with a layer of enamel that furthers the improbability of erosion and rust. In recent years, studies have shown that lead contaminants in the porcelain glaze can seep into the water, which could potentially be very hazardous to children. So if your current bathtub no longer meets health standards, or if you’re looking to remodel your bathroom with a different shower setup, consider recycling your old bathtub.
- Sinks – Cast iron sinks are durable, but also extremely heavy. While they can potentially last for nearly thirty years, the lead in the porcelain may seep into the water, which is obviously not preferred when cleaning dishes. Though durable, cast iron sinks can potentially be scratched by pots, pans, or utensils.