How Scrap and Metal Recycling Benefit the Environment

Here is the list of benefits of scrap and metal recycling for the environment and economy.

1. Reduces Waste in Landfills

scrap and metal recycling helps to reduce solid landfill waste because metals make up a huge percentage of the junk in a landfill. When we recycle any kind of metal, it is reducing the size of landfills by up to 150 million tons. In turn, it also reduces the number of resources used to manage them.

2. Cuts back on Greenhouse Gas Emissions

When metal is recycled, it does not have to be mined for and then smelted. As the smelting process uses large amounts of energy, opting for the metal recycling option reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

3. Prevents Air and Water Pollution

Metals, especially those used in electronic devices, produce a significant risk of pollution. Toxic metal substances such as lead, mercury, and cadmium can leach out of these electronic devices, making their way into the air we breathe, our soil, and even our water. When we recycle our scrap metal, it won’t end up sitting in a landfill leaching these chemicals.

4. Eliminates Destruction of Land

In order to get metals from the earth, we have to mine for it. Ore mining, as it is called, can have very damaging effects on the environment. These effects include destroying of the land, harming the land’s inhabitants, or making their land uninhabitable. Mining can also cause serious erosion and air pollution.

5. Saves Energy

As previously stated, once the mining process is complete, then comes the smelting of the ore to acquire the metal. This process uses high amounts of energy. However, the melting down and reshaping of scrap metals for recycling purposes requires much less energy. For example, recycling aluminium takes up 95% less energy than recycling it from an ore.

6. Boosts the Economy

In the US, the scrap metal industry employs around a half a million workers, with the industry bringing in over a $100 billion every year. The demand for scrap metal is high, so the more metal that is recycled, the more the economy benefits from it.

How to Recycle Scrap Metal

If you’re looking for where to recycle scrap metal, your local scrap yard is your best bet. First, you will need to separate your metals into ferrous metals and non-ferrous metals. To do this, you will need any kind of magnet. If the magnet sticks to the metal, it is ferrous. If it does not stick, the metal is non-ferrous.

Ferrous metals, such as steel or iron, are not worth as much as non-ferrous metals, like copper, aluminium, bronze, brass, or stainless steel. Calling your local scrap yard to see what metals they accept is a good idea. At the scrap yard, they will either have you pull up to their doors to unload your metal pieces onto the scale, or they will do it for you.

If you’ve been putting off getting your old car hauled off somewhere, you have two options.

  • You can have it taken to a landfill, where it will be either burned or destroyed or sit there to rot over years and years, polluting the surrounding area.
  • The other option to get rid of your old car is to call up a scrap car removal company. They will break your old vehicle down for parts and remove the potentially toxic metals to be recycled. In the manufacturing business, your car’s recycled parts can then be used again on someone else’s car, as an alternative to the manufacturing of brand new car parts.

There are many businesses that will give you cash for scrap metal. To find a place near you that gives out money for scrap parts, simply go online and do a search for cash for scrap in your location.

Clay Miller
the authorClay Miller
I am the creator/writer of and I'm an advocate for oceans, beaches, state parks. I enjoy all things outdoors (e.g. running, golf, gardening, hiking, etc.) I am a graduate of the University of Kentucky (Go Wildcats!!). I'm also a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Kentucky.

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