The general rule is not to put metal in a microwave, but the recycling industry could be an exception.

A new recycling system that "bombs" substances with microwaves, reducing them to their basic chemical elements by breaking molecular bonds has been developed, notes a newspaper that keeps tabs on the worldwide metals industry.According to American Metal Market, microwaves that are introduced to a substance at a certain frequency and retention time interfere with the gravitational pull of an atom's electron.

Once its gravitational pull has been altered sufficiently, the atom's polarity is reversed and the bonds that join the atom to other atoms break. Materials are then reduced to their pure forms and separated.

So far the system has been used for metal recovery, waste reduction, scrap tire processing, metal finishing and scrap plastics recovery.

The system breaks down different substances in different ways. For ores, the bonds are broken between the metal and sulfur, and sulfur, oil, carbon and hydrogen all can be vaporized and recondensed into pure forms.

Most of these materials can be reused, the newpaper reports.