An on-going problem of environmental significance is solid waste disposal. As the land needed to simply throw out solid wastes becomes less available, recycling becomes a greater priority in waste management programs. One step in recycling is the magnetic separation of ferrous (ironcontaining) materials. In a typical recycling process, wastes are first shredded into small pieces and then separated into organic and inorganic fractions. The inorganic fraction is then passed through a magnetic separator where ferrous materials are extracted. These materials can then be purified and reused as scrap iron.