The Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) welcomes the fact that China’s new standards for aluminium, brass and copper scrap recognise that scrap, when sorted and processed to meet a high quality standard, ceases to be waste and is a product. BIR members sort and process scrap to these qualities by either manual or mechanical means.
China’s intention to minimise residues arising from the consumption of scrap in metalworks has been well recognised over the past years and will now be met by supplying scrap to these standards.
For recyclers, who have collected the scrap metal, it is normal practice to sort and process the scrap to meet customer specifications. In consequence, the higher the requested metal content, the more costly the scrap processing needed, and therefore the higher the scrap price.
The question remains whether there is the scrap processing capacity to meet the demand for high volumes of high quality scrap. In general, over the last years, more investments in sorting and processing machinery have been – and continue to be – made.