How to Recycle Electric Motors: The Process

What are Electric Motors?

Electric motors are gadgets that convert electrical energy into mechanical energy. A few devices that utilize an electric motor include:

  • Industrial fans
  • Blowers
  • Pumps
  • Disk drives
  • Various machine tools

These electric motors generate mechanical energy (force) through the interaction of its windings and magnetic field. Since electric motors themselves have been analyzed, it is imperative to be acquainted with the process.

How to Recycle Electric Motors

Recycling electric motors is for the most part done on a large scale and is very simple. It consists of:

  • First, recyclers collecting as many electric motors as possible to increase the chance of getting enough copper.
  • Then, a hammer or hammering mill breaks the metallic casting of the motor.
  • Afterwards, professional recyclers separate the components and categorize them according to their materials.
  • Finally, they take the separated components to their different recycling points and recycle them.

Interco has lots of experience purchasing and recycling scrap electric motors. Recycling electric motors reuses valuable materials, decreases solid waste, reduces overall pollution and more.

Since the process has been examined, one must be acquainted with the mechanics of an electric motor.

Electric Motor Mechanics

Electric motors have three main classifications of size. The classifications are:

  • Small motors. These motors are range from the size of a basketball to somewhat larger than an apple. Even smaller electric motors, like electronic transformers in radio-controlled cars, are less desirable due to their low copper and aluminum content.
  • Large motors. Motors like this fluctuate from larger than a basketball to under 2,000 pounds.
  • Over-sized motors. These motors are larger than 2,000 pounds. They vary in demand because of their size and nonferrous metallic content.

The outside of most electric motors is a solid steel shell that protects the delicate parts inside. Additionally, most motors contain important copper and aluminum components. A few motors contain aluminum rather than copper which is still a significant, reusable material. In any case, more copper inside an electric motor makes it more valuable; behind copper is aluminum. Steel can be recycled however it is not as significant as copper or aluminum. Thus, wood and plastic components are viewed as a contaminant so the presence of these materials on a motor really brings down its worth.

Electric motors are a very typical item to recycle. Basically, every electric item with a mechanical movement utilizes an electric motor. A portion of these may even have an AC (alternating current) or DC (direct current) electric motor. Some basic household, industrial and automotive items that utilize electric motors are…

Common household items with electric motors:

  • Microwaves
  • Hand tools
  • Air conditioners
  • Power supplies
  • Starters
  • Washing machines
  • Computers

Common industrial items with electric motors:

  • Transformers
  • Pumps
  • Machinery
  • Manufacturing Equipment

Common automotive items with electric motors:

Now that the mechanics and recycling process of electric motors has been discussed, it is crucial that one comprehends the significance and impacts of electric motor recycling.

Why Recycle Electric Motors?

Recycling electric motors:

  • Reuses valuable materials
  • Reduces landfill pollution
  • Reduces solid waste
  • Protects natural resources
  • Reduces overall pollution

Since all pieces of electric motors are metallic, they are 100% recyclable. Likewise, the copper elements of electric motors are very valuable and utilized in a wide range of electrical gadgets. Electric motor recycling allows these materials to be reused for different items which keeps them out of landfills. Hence, less motors in landfills means less solid waste which protects natural resources. These steps lead to a general decline in pollution which enables the environment to become cleaner and greener.


Overall, electric motors convert electrical energy into mechanical energy. Gadgets like industrial fans, blowers, pumps and more use electric motors. There are small, large and over-sized motors that can be found in everyday items, for example, microwaves, hand tools, air conditioners and more.

When professional recyclers at Interco recycle electric motors, this reuses valuable materials, decreases solid waste, diminishes overall pollution and more. Interco will even buy scrap electric motors to recycle them appropriately.

To learn more about recycling electric motors, click here to contact Interco.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Scroll to Top