Metals are strong, durable, malleable and conductive, and they serve as essential raw materials for a wide variety of uses. Because metals are so important for many of the things that we do, it is important we continue to reuse them so they’ll remain available for future use. For the sake of our environment, health, and economy, here are five key benefits of recycling metal.
Scrap metal recycling facilities are like mines above ground, rich with resources that can be re-used to preserve the environment at a fraction of the cost to mine and refine metals from virgin ones. Scrap metal is not waste. Scrap metal is actually a continuous resource which can be continuously re-used, it is a resource that will never be depleted.
The scrap metal recycling industry consumes a lot less energy as well as being more efficient than actually extracting and refining raw materials through traditional mining processes. Mining has a number of environmental processes such as environmental hazards, poisonous runoffs, groundwater pollution or create physical scars on the environment that can take hundreds of years for the environment to heal, causing groundwater pollution, habitat destruction and unstable geological conditions.
Recycling scrap metal requires fossil fuel inputs as well and is regarded as less energy-intensive than mining. This does not cause groundwater pollution or create physical scars on the environment which can take hundreds of years to recover. Recycling plants don’t need massive open-pit mines to function.
Managing Energy Consumption and Energy Conservation
When you recycle more metal, you tend to lessen the demand for natural resources. It also requires a lot less energy to process recycled metal than it does to mine virgin ore, purify and give it shape.
The amount of energy that is saved using recycled metals compared to raw metals is:
- 92% for aluminum
- 90% for copper
- 56% for steel
Recycling a single aluminum beverage, will help you save enough energy to power a 60-watt light bulb for more than 4 hours.
Recycling will allow you as well as the government to save money in all the right places which will allow it to better spend the taxpayer’s money.
Tangible Economic Benefits
The recycling industry is pretty labor intensive and contributes tens of billions of dollars to the country’s gross domestic product. A study by the Scrap Metal Recycling Institute found that nearly half a million jobs had been created by the scrap metal recycling industry alone.
It is important that you understand that recycling jobs require a high level of skill and training. Wages within the recycling industry vary from employer to location. High wage states tend to pay more.
One of the main reasons (and most relatable) we should recycle metal for is because it saves money. If the majority of people can be convinced to recycle their metal rather than throw it away, this will result in a lower cost to produce metal items. Recycling of metal is contributing to the world and the environment in a positive way as it allows productivity as well as environmental sustainability as well.