What Kinds Of Metal Can NOT Be Recycled?

Almost all common metals and things containing metal incorporated in daily activities can be recycled. However, there are a few hazardous metals that are rarely accessed or even seen that cannot be recycled or accepted at scrap recycling centers. Here at Allied Recycling Center in Walpole, MA, we buy ferrous and non-ferrous metals, appliances, equipment, junk vehicles, and almost anything else that is primarily made of metal! In this article, we’ll talk about the few metals that can not be recycled and why!

Non-Recyclable Metals  

Most metals can be recycled an unlimited number of times, which is why metal is such an eco-friendly material. There are, however, a few non-recyclable metals, but not ones that most people would encounter in their everyday lives. The metals that are not recyclable are usually radioactive metals. These metals are extremely rare and are usually only seen by specific professionals like scientists, military engineers, physicists, etc. These metals can’t be recycled and won’t be found at scrap facilities because they are dangerous to humans. Anything made with these metals is automatically regarded as dangerous and toxic. Below are the few metals that are tagged as unsafe to recycle and the reasons behind them.


Uranium is a heavy and dense metal that occurs naturally in low concentrations in soil, rocks, and water. Uranium can also be commercially extracted from uranium-bearing minerals such as uraninite. This metal was first discovered in 1789 in a mineral called pitchblende. Today, uranium is “enriched” and then is used to power nuclear reactors. Uranium is naturally radioactive, making it unsafe for humans to handle without protection, and therefore is not recyclable.


Plutonium is a radioactive metal that is produced in nuclear reactors. Only very small trace amounts of plutonium occur naturally. Plutonium is extremely dangerous to humans when its particles are inhaled, as it can lead to radiation poisoning, lung cancer, genetic impairment, and even death. For this reason, the average person will probably never encounter plutonium and it can not be recycled.


Mercury, also known as quicksilver, is a one-of-a-kind metal that remains liquid at standard pressure and temperature conditions. Mercury has a low boiling point and serves as a good conductor of electricity. It is possible to get mercury poisoning from ingesting seafood that has come in contact with mercury traces, exposure to water-soluble forms of mercury, or inhaling mercury vapors. Mercury can be found in things like thermometers, fluorescent lights, barometers, etc. Because mercury is toxic to humans, it is not a recyclable material at most scrap metal recycling facilities.

Contact Allied Recycling Center!

If you have any questions about scrap metal recycling in Southeastern Massachusetts, please don’t hesitate to contact us! Located in Walpole, MA, we offer scrap metal purchasing, junk car pickups, dumpster rentals, and various other services to residents and businesses in the region! Give us a call at (508) 668-8699 or fill out the contact form on our website, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible!