Tag Archives: rusted metals

The 5 Key Benefits of Metal Recycling

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.

 

  1. Preserving Resources

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.

 

  1. Reducing Emissions

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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. Economic Development

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.

 

  1. Price Adjustments

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.

 

Can You Recycle Rusted Metals?

Do you have old car components that have been sitting outside for a while? Perhaps you have old, worn-down fencing or piping? In any case, you likely have a large heap of rusted out scrap metal on your hands.

So if you’re asking yourself – can rusted metal be recycled? The answer is generally “yes”.

Rust is a common name for a chemical compound known as iron oxide. This compound forms when iron reacts with water and oxygen, presenting itself as a rough, orange-red substance.

Rust can be removed from metal using household products like lemon juice, baking soda, vinegar and steel wool, or you can purchase chemicals to remove it. You can also coat metals ahead of time to prevent rusting.

If rust is left untreated, it can corrode through all the metal in your products and create holes, which will weaken the strength of these products. You probably wouldn’t want to sit in a chair or ride a bike with holes in the frame.

 

Rust and Recycling

When iron is first extracted from the earth, it is in an oxidized form known as ore. The smelting process involves breaking any bonds created by oxygen and iron so it can be refined into metals like steel. To recycle rusted metal, you need to remove the oxygen again.

In the recycling process for steel, the material is shredded and then melted to create new sheets of metal. If the rust is simply melted, it will re-form once the metal cools. That’s why the recycling process also includes purification, where elements like carbon can be added to bond with the oxygen and free the iron. This also removes other impurities like ink or dried paint.

Most scrap metal yards will pay you by weight, and metal with severe rust damage will weigh less. Scrap metal accepted for recycling must be a majority made of metal, so if your product is half-metal and half-plastic and the metal corrodes away, it likely won’t be accepted as scrap metal.

 

Tips for Recycling Rusted Metal

If you’re cleaning out a garage or shed filled with metal, you’ll likely find plenty of metal products to recycle. Here are a few tips to consider:

  • Coat any metals that are outside (e.g., fences, lawn furniture) to prevent rust in the first place.
  • For reusable products (such as bicycles) with surface rust, use a natural product to remove rust and donate the product to a secondhand store or charity.
  • If you have products with rust holes or other major rust damage, call a scrap recycler to confirm whether or not the product is recyclable before transporting it or arranging pickup.

If you have any scrap metal on your hands – rusted or not, get in touch with Manville Recycling today for a quote. Or, if you’re unsure whether your rusted metal is recyclable, contact us and we’ll advise you the best we can.