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Radiator Recycling: What You Need to Know

Air Condition Units: Appliance Radiators
In a car, the radiator plays an important role in cooling your engine and other components. In the home, radiators keep the house warm through a heat transfer process. Other appliances such as air conditioning units and refrigerators also have radiators.

Radiators can serve you for many years but at the end of their useful life, you need to dispose of these devices responsibly by recycling.


Read on to learn more about recycling your radiators.

Types of Radiators 

Radiators come in different types of materials, weight, and construction. If you are recycling radiators for money, you should understand the value of the various radiator materials. Find out from your local recycling center about the buyback prices of different materials.

Home Radiators 
Home radiators are available in various materials including aluminum, brass, copper, cast iron, plastic, and stainless steel. In the past, cast iron was a popular choice, but most modern home radiators are made from steel.

Steel has excellent heat conductivity, is durable, and has a relatively stable local and international market. According to industry specialists, the decline in steel production in China will encourage greater demand for steel made in the USA, which may boost the local prices of this metal.

Appliance Radiators 
The radiators in fridges and air conditioning units look like fins and are commonly made out of both aluminum and copper. As such, industry insiders refer to these radiators as aluminum copper fins (ACF).

The demand for aluminum and copper continues to grow steadily. In spite of some marketplace imbalances, analysts predict healthy prices for both metals.

Car Radiators 
Cars, trucks, and heavy-duty vehicles usually have aluminum and brass radiators. The radiators may also contain some plastic and steel parts that you can remove in preparation for recycling. Generally, brass tends to pay less than copper but recycling a large amount of brass could bring better returns.

Preparation for Recycling Radiators
Removing fluid, plastic, and other scrap materials before recycling can increase the value of your radiators. Preparing radiators for recycling involves several steps.

Remove Coolant
Many recycling plants require you to remove any fluid in your metal parts. Radiators contain coolant that you should remove before shipping these parts for recycling.

When handling antifreeze, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that you place this substance in a closed container and consider taking to a specialized antifreeze recycling plant. Avoid pouring anti-freeze down the drain, in sewer lines, on the ground or mixing with other substances. 

Eliminate Plastic Parts 
Aluminum car radiators contain plastic and steel parts. Remove these parts to get to the aluminum, which is the most valuable piece of the radiator. Generally, a recycling plant pays better prices for clean radiators that are ready for scrapping. Do not throw away the plastic and steel ends. These are good candidates for recycling too.

Organize the Scrap
Scrap aluminum radiators weigh less than brass radiators and scrap with copper parts might be more valuable. Due to these variations, group your radiators by the type of material before shipping. By organizing your scrap this way, you can identify the most valuable radiators and transport the metal pieces easily.

Ship Home Radiators
Home radiators have few preparation requirements. All you need to do is to haul your appliance to your local recycling plant. Bear in mind that metal radiators are more valuable than radiators made out of plastic or composite materials.

Not all recycling companies are suited to handle and recycle radiators. Avoid disposing of your radiators in curbside trash bins. While these local programs are helpful, most do not handle scrap metal. For proper disposal, find a recycling company that specializes in radiator recycling.

If you are looking to recycle your radiators in San Jose, get in touch with Ranch Town Recycling Center Inc. today. We have the expertise and resources to recycle all types of radiators safely and efficiently.