Both the environmental and economic benefits of scrap metal recycling are undeniable. First, consider the positive environmental impact of recycling scrap metal versus mining virgin ore:
- An astonishing 300 to 500 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions are eliminated by recycling metal, according to the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries. This makes a substantial positive impact on the global environment, air quality, and climate change.
- According to the National Institute of Health, using scrap metal reduces mining waste by 97% and water consumption by 40%, as compared to mining virgin ore.
- In addition to mining waste and water consumption, energy consumption is another key factor when considering scrap metal recycling over new material. The savings can be as much as:
- 92% for recycled aluminium over mined ore
- 90% for recycled copper over mined ore
- 56% for recycling steel over mined ore
- To put these numbers into perspective, consider that recycling one aluminium can create enough energy savings to power a standard lightbulb for four hours, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
Next, consider the positive economic impact of recycling scrap metal:
- According to the National Institute of Health, recycling scrap metal creates 36 times more jobs than sending the same scrap metal to an incinerator. Likewise, recycling also creates six times more jobs than sending the scrap to a landfill instead.
- The recycling industry contributes $236 billion annually to the economy and employs over a million American workers, according to the National Recycling Coalition.
Scrap metal can be melted down and reused countless times, thus making the most out of a finite resource. Because metals are not naturally renewable, it is essential to the planet, and smarter from a cost of goods standpoint, to make the most out of the existing supply of metals.
Sources of scrap metal can include old cars, airplanes, appliances, buildings, bridges, and other metal items that are no longer valuable in their current condition, but can be melted down and repurposed again and again. The ability to reuse these materials means resale value for those recycling, in addition to a better value for those seeking the metal for production.
Given the substantial environmental benefits, support from leading agencies and authorities, undeniable cost savings, and American job creation, scrap metal recycling is the clear choice for those seeking metal for production purposes, as well as those owning metal they no longer need in its current form.