Teen/Sheet Metal

Tin cans are endlessly recyclable. Consider this: Any can could be used, recycled and back on the market as another can in just 60 days.

Cans of tinplated steel, both those that are permanently sealed and those with tops that can be lifted and replaced, are used predominantly for food storage. 90% of all tinplate is used to make cans for food and drinks, cosmetics, fuel, oil, and paint and varnish. Tin is resistant to corrosion and has low toxicity.

  • Tin is also used in metals used for bearings and in solder. Tin is used in glass production, bearing alloys, coatings for steel containers, solders for connecting pipes or electrical/electronic circuits, and other tin chemical use.
  • Tin, found in cassiterite, is used in mobile phone circuit boards. Tin is used in smartphones for soldering different metal components together. Tin is also used with the element indium to make indium tin oxide, a very thin, transparent and electrically conductive material used to make smartphone touchscreens.
  • The iPhone's screen is much more complex. The aluminosilicate glass is bombarded with ions of potassium for strength. Meanwhile, a layer of indium tin oxide makes it touchscreen capable, and small amounts of rare earths enables certain colors on the display.
  • Tin is used as solder in the electronics industry. Tin alloys can also be found in automobile parts, dental amalgams, and aerospace metal. Even nuclear reactors can contain a small amount of tin.

Tin cans used to preserve food were patented in England in 1810 when Peter Durand, a British merchant, was granted a patent by King George III. But the concept really took hold in the USA in 1856 when Bordon’s Condensed Milk began production. America’s increasingly mobile population adopted canned food with a fury.

China and Indonesia are currently the world's largest producers of tin. 


Tin can be recycled over and over again without losing the properties that make it valuable and useful. The process is simple:

  • Most cans are wrapped in paper labels which do not need to be removed. The paper will be removed during the recycling process, and since it’s a low quality of paper, it won’t be worth your time to remove and recycle it with other paper.
  • Rinse your cans to remove any leftover food. This will prevent your recycling bin from smelling and reduce the risk of animals attacking your recycling.
  • Completely remove the lid and insert it into the can, then pinch the top so it closes. This will also prevent birds or cats from getting their heads stuck in the cans.

At the smelting plant, the cans are shredded and melted down into a molten liquid. The molten liquid looks like to lava. The liquid metal is poured into a mold where it cools and hardens into a solid metal bar. These solid bars are sold to manufacturers who re-melt them and make their new metal products.

From drop-off to payment, Atlas Metal and Iron streamlines the process of recycling tin easy. Atlas also prides itself on tailoring a recycling program to fit your company’s unique needs.