The Lifecycle of Scrap Metal

Although the scrap metal industry doesn’t receive very much media attention, it is an integral part of the global manufacturing supply chain. According to the Canadian Association of Recycling, around 45% of steel, over 40% of copper and about 33% of aluminum comes from recycled material. Canada alone recycles between 16 and 18 million tonnes of scrap metal annually.

CAC Recycling plays a critical role in the manufacturing of steel by providing high quality scrap to steel mills in North America and along the Asian Pacific Rim. The export of scrap steel is ultimately used to create high grade steel that can be made into manufacturing products that often get sold back to Canada. CAC Recycling participates in this process by providing demolition and site clean up services, transportation, sorting, processing, and shipping.

The Lifecycle of Scrap

Aging structures and surplus material on client’s sitePort Mann Bridge scrap metal

Scrap metal begins as structures, machinery, and other material that has become damaged or has passed its useful life. CAC Recycling has experience in disposing of a wide variety of structures and other assets such as: bridges, pipe, oil rigs, heat exchangers, buildings, heavy machinery, vessels, and vehicles among others.

CAC Recycling became the sole receiver of scrap metal generated from the deconstruction of the Port Mann Bridge in Surrey BC.

Demolition and site clean up

As a value added to our clients, CAC Recycling demolitionprovides comprehensive site cleaning and demolition services. CAC has the appropriate heavy machinery, experience and safety programs to undertake even the most difficult clean up and disposal projects. Demolition and site clean ups often yield a large amount of scrap material for CAC to recycle. CAC provides a scrap metal rebate to our clients, ultimately reducing the cost of disposal projects.


CAC Recycling has a fleet of trucks and dedicated dispatch that can transport material from our client’s sites to CAC’s yards in Sherwood Park, Alberta or Maple Ridge, British Columbia.


Material received from clients is often comprised of both ferrous and non-ferrous material as well as contaminants. Upon unloading, CAC staff works hard to sort the material and prepare it to be processed.


In order to make sure material will be able to be containerized and shipped internationally, scrap metal must be processed either by manual torch cutting or an industrial shredder.

scrap metal shredderCutting scrap metal






loading scrap metal

Once material is sorted and processed, it is loaded into containers – ready to ship.


CAC Recycling trucks the processed material to rail where it goes to steel mills in North America or is shipped to Canada’s west coast to be loaded onto cargo ships headed for the Pacific Rim.

cargo traincargo ship







Asian and North American steel millsblast furnace

Once material has been received by steel mills in North America and Asia, steel is typically fed into a furnace where scrap metal is ridded of impurities. At temperatures of up to 1,800 degrees, the molten steel is reformed and made into quality steel products. For more information on the manufacturing of steel check out the World Steel Association’s website.

Finished product

Scrap steel is ultimately used in the manufacturing of high quality steel products and structures.

new port mann