On Thursday, the city of Cleveland will hold a gun melt to recycle more than 700 firearms, including those surrendered at multi-community buy-back events.
Last month, the city joined police from neighboring communities Euclid, Lakewood, Parma and Shaker Heights for the Greater Cleveland 2011 Gun Buy-Back Program – in which residents turned over unwanted firearms and received gift cards for gas and other rewards.
Gun melts have become a yearly tradition in Cleveland, and officials said collecting and recycling firearms keeps the streets safe while recovering resources to make new consumer goods.
The city has partnered with metal companies for years to recycle guns as a free community service, officials said. More than 400 guns were collected and melted down last year, and law enforcement has recycled thousands of firearms through gun melts over the past decade.
The city and partner ArcelorMittal Cleveland will melt the guns collected through buy-backs, along with firearms taken off the streets through confiscation or voluntary surrender, and recycle them to make new products.
Firearms will be placed into a No.1 Basic Oxygen Furnace iron ladle, where they will be melted by approximately 200 tons of molten iron at 2,400 degree temperatures. The iron and scrap are then charged in the furnace to make steel.
Steel recovered from firearms will be used to make products like washing machines, car parts and refrigerators, said Eric Hauge, general manager and vice president of ArcelorMittal Cleveland.