The industry differentiates between various types of scrap:
- The term "new scrap" is used to describe residues from processing, for example trim from extrusion billets or edge trim from sheet, strip and foil. From the very beginning it has been melted down on site (where it is often called "run-around scrap" because it does not leave the plant) or in the nearest foundry (as "process scrap"). Foil residues are also used as starting material for the production of powder.
- Residues from fabricators, industry and manufacturing that arise during drilling, cutting, milling or sawing are also regarded as new scrap or process scrap. Like old scrap, they are used as secondary raw materials in secondary smelters.
- "Old scrap" describes aluminium products that have come to the end of their useful life (also referred to as "post-consumer scrap"): it covers everything from recycled packaging and household equipment, and old window frames from building construction, through to vehicle parts.
The collection and recycling of scrap conserves resources and minimises effects on the environment. Before remelting, scrap preparation is often necessary to remove undesirable foreign matter.