"Always start out with a larger pot than
what you think you need."
— Julia Child

Are Pots And Pans Considered Scrap Metal

James Lee
• Wednesday, 09 December, 2020
• 12 min read

A quick internet search reveals there’s a lot of confusion surrounding whether nonstick pans can be recycled. So, to demystify this issue, we’ll provide some clarification about what exactly a nonstick pan is made of and how you can determine how to recycle it.

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(Source: www.wisegeek.com)


You may find your local curbside program doesn’t collect unusual materials like pots and pans, but don’t fret. Most scrapyards that accept metal will be happy to take your old nonstick pans, which they will recycle along with other scrap metal.

Dear Kiel: There’s a lot of metal tied up in your cookware, and we’re happy you want to recycle it. Some of the most common types of pots and pans are made from aluminum, stainless steel, cast iron, and even copper.

Many handlers are unable or unwilling to do this, but there are some out there; always contact recycling facilities prior to sending your cookware along, to ask for their policy. Even if your pot or pan isn’t coated, you probably won’t be able to just toss it in your curbside recycling container.

If you live in New York City or Montgomery County, MD, then you’re in luck because they do accept pots and pans there. Use resources like the scrap App to find suitable facilities in your area.

A quick internet search reveals there’s a lot of confusion surrounding whether nonstick pans can be recycled. So, to demystify this issue, we’ll provide some clarification about what exactly a nonstick pan is made of and how you can determine how to recycle it.

professional duxtop piece cookware stainless steel
(Source: www.potsandpansplace.com)

To keep food from sticking to these metals, manufacturers add a layer of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), which is a compound with a low coefficient of friction, meaning other objects will easily slide by it. This coating can have multiple layers to ensure the nonstick surface is durable.

While this nonstick coating makes cooking easier, if it gets scratched or begins to flake, it’s time to find a replacement pan. Some curbside recycling programs do accept nonstick pans and will handle the removal of the PTFE.

One town in North Carolina, for example, will accept all pans, regardless of whether they’re coated with PTFE. You’ll want to look for whether your local program accepts nonferrous scrap metal (which includes aluminum, copper and stainless steel).

You may find your local curbside program doesn’t collect unusual materials like pots and pans, but don’t fret. Most scrapyards that accept metal will be happy to take your old nonstick pans, which they will recycle along with other scrap metal.

“From there they will be melted down and that special non-stick surface will separate properly from the true aluminum material,” she said. Any brand of cookware is accepted by the program and the shipping is covered by the company, who will take care of getting the pans to a recycling center.

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(Source: www.walmart.com)

All of these things harm the nonstick coating and can leave your cookware unusable. A little extra effort ahead of time will make all items in your kitchen last longer.

If you’re attached to your damaged nonstick pots and pans and don’t want to get rid of them, there are some unique ideas you can try to “repair” them. When you are looking to make some extra cash by recycling scrap metal with your local yard, it can be as simple as finding items around your house.

Sometimes there will be plastic pieces or steel (check with magnet) that can make the sink a “dirty” material, therefore will be devalued. Most water pipes inside homes are made from copper tubing and sometimes will have brass fixtures on them too.

If you are renovating your kitchen or bathroom, it’s a good idea to set the copper pipe aside, as it’s one of the higher priced scrap metals to recycle with your scrapyard. That’s another perfect item you can collect for your pile for the scrapyard.

Pots & Pans will usually be classified as dirty aluminum when bringing it in for scrap. With a copper coil inside that electric motor, you could see a good chunk of change and weight for that item.

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(Source: www.pinterest.com)

They generally weigh 10-20 pounds and can be worth some good money if you bring them to your scrapyard. Similar to the laptops, be sure to check with your scrapyard if they accept them before bringing them in.

Metal has market value, but if you have a newer pan that's coated with Teflon or another non-stick treatment, that starts to get a bit trickier, since it may or may not be accepted in city recycling.” If cookware is coated, most recycling agencies will have to remove outward layers before it can be recycled, but only a select few localities will remove these coatings (New York City and Maryland's Montgomery County are examples in the Northeast).

The best chance of ensuring your cookware doesn't end up in the trash is to head to a local scrapyard. “ In addition to recycling at local centers or via metal dealers, here are three other ways you can make sure used cookware stays out of landfills and finds a new home.

If you're unable to find a metal scrap yard or donate the item, Hoover says there's one last option for you, and it happens to be the most convenient. “Terrace is an organization that specializes in accepting and repurposing hard to recycle materials; things like potato chip bags and sandwich bags, things that are not normally accepted for recycling at the community level,” she says.

Prices start at $109 and that cost includes return shipping and processing of whatever you send to be recycled (they do not accept electronics). And Hoover says that Terrace really does upcycle-materials are sorted and repurposed into everyday products, like benches and watering cans, instead of being sent to landfills.

cookware stainless fal steel amazon dishwasher ply tri piece clad safe silver oven multi
(Source: www.amazon.com)

The alloy constituents affect its color when fractured: white cast iron has carbide impurities which allow cracks to pass straight through, gray cast iron has graphite flakes which deflect a passing crack and initiate countless new cracks as the material breaks, and ductile cast iron has spherical graphite “nodules” which stop the crack from further progressing. The earliest cast-iron artifacts date to the 5th century BC, and were discovered by archaeologists in what is now Jiangsu in China.

Cast iron was used in ancient China for warfare, agriculture, and architecture. During the 15th century, cast iron became utilized for cannon in Burgundy, France, and in England during the Reformation.

The amounts of cast iron used for cannon required large scale production. Phosphorus and sulfur may be burnt out of the molten iron, but this also burns out the carbon, which must be replaced.

Depending on the application, carbon and silicon content are adjusted to the desired levels, which may be anywhere from 2 to 3.5% and 1–3%, respectively. If desired, other elements are then added to the melt before the final form is produced by casting.

After melting is complete, the molten cast iron is poured into a holding furnace or ladle. A high percentage of silicon forces carbon out of solution forming graphite and the production of gray cast iron.

pioneer woman ceramic cookware iron cast belly classic piece stick non nonstick pans walmart interior button pots kitchen wal
(Source: www.walmart.com)

Other alloying agents, manganese, chromium, molybdenum, titanium and vanadium counteracts silicon, promotes the retention of carbon, and the formation of those carbides. Nickel and copper increase strength, and machinability, but do not change the amount of graphite formed.

The carbon in the form of graphite results in a softer iron, reduces shrinkage, lowers strength, and decreases density. Sulfur, largely a contaminant when present, forms iron sulfide, which prevents the formation of graphite and increases hardness.

The problem with sulfur is that it makes molten cast iron viscous, which causes defects. Nickel is one of the most common alloying elements because it refines the Pearlie and graphite structure, improves toughness, and evens out hardness differences between section thicknesses.

Copper is added in the ladle or in the furnace, on the order of 0.5–2.5%, to decrease chill, refine graphite, and increase fluidity. Molybdenum is added on the order of 0.3–1% to increase chill and refine the graphite and Pearlie structure; it is often added in conjunction with nickel, copper, and chromium to form high strength irons.

0.1–0.3% zirconium helps to form graphite, deoxidize, and increase fluidity. These, with fire backs, were common early uses of cast iron, as little strength in the metal was needed. Grey cast iron is characterized by its graphic microstructure, which causes fractures of the material to have a gray appearance.

pots pans iron cast metal ebth ended
(Source: www.ebth.com)

These mechanical properties are controlled by the size and shape of the graphite flakes present in the microstructure and can be characterized according to the guidelines given by the ATM. With a lower silicon content (graphitizing agent) and faster cooling rate, the carbon in white cast iron precipitates out of the melt as the metastable phase cement ite, Fe 3 C, rather than graphite.

The cement ite which precipitates from the melt forms as relatively large particles. As the iron carbide precipitates out, it withdraws carbon from the original melt, moving the mixture toward one that is closer to eutectic, and the remaining phase is the lower iron-carbon austenite (which on cooling might transform to martensite).

These eutectic carbides are much too large to provide the benefit of what is called precipitation hardening (as in some steels, where much smaller cement ite precipitates might inhibit by impeding the movement of dislocations through the pure iron fer rite matrix). Since carbide makes up a large fraction of the material, white cast iron could reasonably be classified as a cermet.

White iron is too brittle for use in many structural components, but with good hardness and abrasion resistance and relatively low cost, it finds use in such applications as the wear surfaces (impeller and volute) of slurry pumps, shell liners and lifter bass in ball mills and autonomous grinding mills, balls and rings in coal pulverizers, and the teeth of a backhoe's digging bucket (although cast medium-carbon martensite steel is more common for this application). However, rapid cooling can be used to solidify a shell of white cast iron, after which the remainder cools more slowly to form a core of gray cast iron.

High-chromium white iron alloys allow massive castings (for example, a 10-tonne impeller) to be sand cast, as the chromium reduces cooling rate required to produce carbides through the greater thicknesses of material. These high-chromium alloys attribute their superior hardness to the presence of chromium carbides.

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(Source: eightbitcook.blogspot.com)

The slow process allows the surface tension to form the graphite into spheroidal particles rather than flakes. They also have blunt boundaries, as opposed to flakes, which alleviates the stress concentration problems found in gray cast iron.

In general, the properties of malleable cast iron are more like those of mild steel. As a result, the properties of ductile cast iron are that of a spongy steel without the stress concentration effects that flakes of graphite would produce.

The carbon percentage present is 3-4% and percentage of silicon is 1.8-2.8%. Tiny amounts of 0.02 to 0.1% magnesium, and only 0.02 to 0.04% cerium added to these alloys slow the growth of graphite precipitates by bonding to the edges of the graphite planes. Along with careful control of other elements and timing, this allows the carbon to separate as spheroidal particles as the material solidifies.

The earliest cast-iron artifacts date to the 5th century BC, and were discovered by archaeologists in what is now modern Luke County, Jiangsu in China. Because cast iron is comparatively brittle, it is not suitable for purposes where a sharp edge or flexibility is required.

Cast iron was invented in China in the 5th century BC and poured into molds to make plowshares and pots as well as weapons and pagodas. Although steel was more desirable, cast iron was cheaper and thus was more commonly used for implements in ancient China, while wrought iron or steel was used for weapons.

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(Source: legionathletics.com)

The Chinese developed a method of annealing cast iron by keeping hot castings in an oxidizing atmosphere for a week or longer in order to burn off some carbon near the surface in order to keep the surface layer from being too brittle. In the west, where it did not become available until the 15th century, its earliest uses included cannon and shot.

Soon, English ironworkers using blast furnaces developed the technique of producing cast-iron cannons, which, while heavier than the prevailing bronze cannons, were much cheaper and enabled England to arm her navy better. Al-Qazvini in the 13th century and other travelers subsequently noted an iron industry in the Albury Mountains to the south of the Caspian Sea.

This is close to the silk route, so that the use of technology derived from China is conceivable. Application of the steam engine to power blast bellows (indirectly by pumping water to a waterwheel) in Britain, beginning in 1743 and increasing in the 1750s, was a key factor in increasing the production of cast iron, which surged in the following decades.

In addition to overcoming the limitation on water power, the steam-pumped-water powered blast gave higher furnace temperatures, which allowed the use of higher lime ratios, enabling the conversion from charcoal, supplies of wood for which were inadequate, to coke. Cast-iron beam bridges were used widely by the early railways, such as the Water Street Bridge in 1830 at the Manchester terminus of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, but problems with its use became all too apparent when a new bridge carrying the Chester and Holy head Railway across the River Dee in Chester collapsed killing five people in May 1847, less than a year after it was opened.

The Dee bridge disaster was caused by excessive loading at the center of the beam by a passing train, and many similar bridges had to be demolished and rebuilt, often in wrought iron. The bridge had been badly designed, being trussed with wrought iron straps, which were wrongly thought to reinforce the structure.

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(Source: www.pinterest.com)

The centers of the beams were put into bending, with the lower edge in tension, where cast iron, like masonry, is very weak. Crucial lugs for holding tie bars and struts in the Day Bridge had been cast integral with the columns, and they failed in the early stages of the accident.

Further, bridge collapses occurred, however, culminating in the Norwood Junction rail accident of 1891. Thousands of cast-iron rail under bridges were eventually replaced by steel equivalents by 1900 owing to the widespread concern about cast iron under bridges on the rail network in Britain.

They also opened up floor spaces in factories, and sight lines in churches and auditoriums. By the mid 19th century, cast iron columns were common in warehouse and industrial buildings, combined with wrought or cast iron beams, eventually leading to the development of steel-framed skyscrapers.

Cast iron was also used sometimes for decorative facades, especially in the United States, and the Soho district of New York has numerous examples. The air in the mills contained flammable fibers from the cotton, hemp, or wool being spun.

The solution was to build them completely of non-combustible materials, and it was found convenient to provide the building with an iron frame, largely of cast iron, replacing flammable wood. During the Industrial Revolution, cast iron was also widely used for frame and other fixed parts of machinery, including spinning and later weaving machines in textile mills.

cooks steel stainless clad standard multi ply cookware
(Source: www.potsandpansplace.com)

Cast iron became widely used, and many towns had foundries producing industrial and agricultural machinery. “Test Method for Evaluating the Microstructure of Graphite in Iron Castings”.

“Effect of Boron and Heat Treatment on Mechanical Properties of White Cast Iron for Mining Application”. Standard Handbook of Petroleum & Natural Gas Engineering, Elsevier, 2006 ^ Telescope, R. F. (1992).

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1 www.goodhousekeeping.com - https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/uk/product-reviews/house-garden/g688654/best-pan-sets/
2 www.bbcgoodfood.com - https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/review/five-best-saucepans
3 www.dunelm.com - https://www.dunelm.com/category/home-and-furniture/cook-and-dine/cooking/pots-and-pans/induction-pans
4 www.t3.com - https://www.t3.com/features/best-saucepan-sets
5 easierhouse.co.uk - https://easierhouse.co.uk/best-induction-pans/
6 chefspick.co.uk - https://chefspick.co.uk/what-is-an-induction-saucepan/
7 ceramiccookwarehub.com - https://ceramiccookwarehub.com/best-ceramic-cookware-for-induction/
8 chefspick.co.uk - https://chefspick.co.uk/normal-pan-on-induction-hob/