About our Metal Recycling Service

Recycling Lives is an industry-leading scrap metal processor. We recycle metals at our industry-leading 15-acre Recycling Park and export straight from site – reducing tonnes of CO2 emissions each year by returning recycled metals to market.

  • Recycling all ferrous and non-ferrous metals
  • Collecting metals and materials nationwide
  • Guaranteeing the best scrap metal value

We buy metal nationwide. For complete transparency we have visible weights on all our weighbridges and scales and record all our processes in high-definition, from weighing in to fragmentisation, so we can provide you with footage of your recycling to ensure total compliance.

We also manage scrap metal collection nationwide, with skips and containers of all sizes and a large fleet of skip wagons, ROROs and artics.

Metal Recycling
Advanced Metal Recycling Services

Our Recycling Park boasts state-of-the-art machinery for metal recycling, ensuring the most effective separation techniques in the industry for all ferrous and non-ferrous metals:

  • Advanced pre-shredding technology - improving recycle rates by reducing metals ahead of fragmentisation
  • Europe’s only on-line fragmentiser - recording the entire process in HD to ensure total compliance
  • Enhanced downstream technologies - further separating materials for steel, lead, aluminium and copper recycling

who we work with

  • KIER
  • Speedy
  • British Gas
  • Wates
  • BT
  • BT
  • Sellafield Ltd
  • suez environment

Benefits designed to help your business

  • Modern weighbridge systems ensuring total transparency
  • Visible weights on all scales and weighbridges
  • Bespoke customer portal to follow process from collection to recycling
  • Secure destruction facilities with ability to view footage of processing
  • Camera footage of weighbridges and processing available
  • Dedicated account managers; experts in metal recycling (account customers)
  • Sales support team to handle day-to-day account management (account customers)
  • Same day payments and pre-paid credit card facilities (non-account customers)


All our services, from metal collection and metal buying to metal recycling, contribute to the creation of significant social value - so the value of your scrap metal is more than just financial.

As well as supporting our charitable programmes through our metal recycling, we are creating skilled jobs in waste management. Our team are experts in their roles; many - including waste experts, commercial professionals and highly skilled recycling operatives - have come through our charitable programmes. Working with Recycling Lives means your business supports and sustains our life-changing charitable programmes.


Metals ready for recycling are processed either at our recycling sites or in our HMP Academies; creating meaningful and skilled jobs. Seven of our 11 nationwide sites are scrap metal buying facilities.

Eight of our 11 HMP Academies are recycling academies, where men and women process WEEE to extract aluminium, copper, steel, glass, plastics, and circuit boards for recycling while men in our fabrication academy build and repair skips to be used for scrap metal collection.

Metal Recycling

All our commercial activities support and sustain our charitable programmes; reducing reoffending, supporting homeless men and redistributing food. These create opportunities through:

  • HMP Academies - offenders in prison undertake meaningful work, in recycling and waste management processes, to gain transferable life and work skills ahead of release;
  • Residential Support - individuals who would otherwise be homeless are supported to regain their independence and move into work and housing;
  • Food Redistribution - small charities and community groups are supported to reduce their running costs and expand their service offering as we redistribute surplus food from supermarkets and suppliers to them.

The Impact of our partnerships

Our work is doing more than just changing lives for individuals, families and communities - between 2015 and 2018 it has created huge savings for society by reducing costs to the taxpayer and creating social value worth millions of pounds.


  • 24 individuals supported into independent living
  • + 136 ex-offenders rehabilitated
    and supported into work
  • + 2,174,140 meals delivered across
    Lancashire & Cumbria
  • = £17.3m reported Social Value -
    created through savings to society


The process of recycling metal

We take care of the entire scrap metal recycling process from collecting scrap to exporting metals, providing total waste management solutions for large businesses and convenient sites for tradesmen and members of the public.

We recycle the majority of the metal we receive at our industry-leading metal and waste recycling site with the remainder being processed and exported from our satellite sites. At our 15-acre Recycling Park the metal is processed through our pre-shredder and fragmentiser, which shred and separate materials. The entire process is recorded in high-definition, providing you with evidence of a secure destruction process.

Blue-chip businesses and local authorities

We manage metal collection nationwide, to remove and recycle metal and waste from businesses and local authorities. Our bespoke online portal allows you to follow the process from beginning to end, to order skips and bins, view loads ahead of processing and follow the recycling process then ensure total compliance.

Tradesmen, merchants and members of the public:

We have a centralised system to determine scrap metal value across our nationwide network of sites:

  • Metal is weighed on our weighbridges, recording transactions and clearly displaying weights
  • Loads are photographed, allowing for transparency and safety around loads into site
  • Loads are fluorescence analysed, accurately confirming the composition of materials

We accept all ferrous and non-ferrous metals: light iron, cast iron and heavy steel, and copper, brass, lead, stainless steel, aluminium, bronze and zinc, as well as items with metal content, such as car batteries, alloy wheels, cookers, boilers and scrap machinery.

Metal recycling regulations
Blue-chip businesses and local authorities

The Duty of Care Regulations state that as a waste holder you must take all reasonable steps to:

  • Prevent unauthorised or harmful deposit, treatment or disposal of waste
  • Ensure that all waste is disposed of with a business or individuals that have the correct and relevant environmental permit issued but the Environmental Agency
  • Prevent other parties from breaching permit conditions relevant to the type of waste they process
  • Provide an accurate description of the waste when it is transferred to another business or individual
  • Retain waste documentation about non-hazardous waste for two years

In addition, any waste holder must ensure that waste is transferred to a business or individual that is:

  • Registered as a carrier, broker or dealer of waste
  • A waste management operator with an environmental permit or registered exemption to accept such waste
Tradesmen, merchants and member of the public

Recycling Lives cannot, and will not, pay cash for scrap metal. Under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 it is illegal for all scrap metal buyers to pay cash for scrap metal - this applies to any person or business selling waste metal. All payments must be made by cheque or BACS transfer to those who present valid identification (ID). We also have a pre-paid card option, an electronic card payment scheme for regular customers.

Valid ID:
  • Driving Licence: Current photo card version for the UK or NI - expired or paper versions are not accepted.
  • UK or EEA Passport or a valid biometric immigration document. If you use one of these documents as your form of ID then it must also be accompanied by one of the following:
  • Bank or building society statement, credit or debit card, council tax demand letter or statement, or a recent utility bill (excluding a mobile telephone bill)

All our sites are regulated by the Environment Agency and all waste is handled in accordance with national and European environmental standards.

Metal Recycling FAQs

Find the answers to all your questions about Metal Recycling below.


Scrap is processed at our industry-leading metal and waste recycling site, a 15-acre Recycling Park in Preston, Lancashire. It is processed through our pre-shredder and fragmentiser, which shred and separate materials before they are sent for remanufacture and reuse.


Recycling Lives recycles all ferrous and non-ferrous metals: light iron, cast iron and heavy steel, and copper, brass, lead, stainless steel, aluminium, bronze and zinc, as well as items with metal content, such as car batteries, alloy wheels, cookers, boilers and scrap machinery.

why work with us

Martin Chown Supply Chain Director Sellafield Limited We are committed to ensuring our local communities derive maximum economic benefit from the money we spend at Sellafield, by insisting companies that win work with us to invest to support local growth. Recycling Lives has these values at its core and I’m excited by their plans. The contract win also allowed for the creation of a number of jobs in Cumbria as we work to open a new site in the county, creating jobs for yard operatives, drivers and site managers. Read moreRead less
Jeremy Hartley Managing Director Eric Wright Group The Eric Wright Group has always recognised the importance of supporting the local community and using our business activities to improve people’s lives. Working with Recycling Lives gives us an opportunity to continue to make a real difference and achieve more through working together. Read moreRead less
Josh Steiner Social Value & Sustainability Manager Wates Group Recycling Lives has reaped the rewards of strong commercial and social credentials to secure large-scale contracts. The high value and quality nature of the service, alongside its demonstrable social benefits has prompted the organisation’s ongoing success, allowing it to expand its range of services and open in new locations to achieve nationwide coverage Read moreRead less

Discover the benefits of the Recycling Lives Portal

Recycling Lives Portal

Our bespoke customer portal can be tailored to your business needs. After we’ve assessed your waste streams, we’ll ensure the portal is responsive to making collection requests, viewing the recycling process and tracking recycle rates.

Learn more about Recycling Lives

We’ve operated in the recycling sector for 40 years - learn more about our history and impact to date

Get in touch with Recycling Lives

We’d love to hear from you - contact us about recycling waste, working together or joining our team

What Sectors we operate in

We service all sectors - see how we can manage your waste for environmental and social benefit

Metal Recycling
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