Think there was something we could all do: conserve natural resources, reduce energy consumption, keep waste away from landfills, create jobs, improve our trade balance, and reduce consumer prices, all simultaneously? There is a matter that does all these things—recycling scrap metal.
What are the Benefits of Recycling Metal?
While consumers can also profit from selling scrap metal, the scrap recycling industry’s most significant contribution to individuals is
The recycled metal is cheaper than newly mined metals from virgin ores for a manufacturer. Using these lower-priced raw materials brings down manufacturing costs. These savings are departed to customers in the competitive marketplace with lower-priced consumer goods. Automobiles, home furnishings, appliances, and grocery packaging are among the many consumer goods that benefit from lower prices due to recycled scrap metal.
Global Trade Balance
Due to the competitiveness of the scrap metal recycling industry, the United States exports a significant amount of scrap metal each year. These exports are named “scrap commodities” and contribute impressively to U.S. trade balances.
Conserves Natural Resources
While the drive behind the recycling industry may have been economic, the significant beneficiary is the environment. Most metals can be recycled frequently without degrading their properties. A scrap metal recycling facility is similar to an above-ground mine providing raw material for construction, transportation, and manufacturing. Increased scrap material reduces the demand for mined ore.
Reduces Energy Consumption
Another advantage of scrap metal versus mined metal ore is that scrap metal recycling uses considerably less energy. Manufacturing usable metal from mined ore is highly energy-intensive. For instance, energy saved using aluminum scrap vs virgin materials is about 95 %, according to ISRI. Reducing energy consumption leads to a lowering of greenhouse gas emissions. Utilizing iron and steel scrap rather than virgin materials reduces carbon emissions by 58 percent, ISRI states.
Other Environmental Benefits
Recycling steel, aluminium, copper, and other metals keeps these materials out of the waste stream, leading to less waste in landfills. Reducing landfill usage in and of itself is beneficial to the environment, but reducing metals in landfills is especially important because they can leach harmful chemicals. Reducing mining and energy consumption subsequently leads to other environmental benefits, such as reducing air pollution and wastewater.
The Future of Scrap Metal Recycling
As many as the benefits are of scrap metal recycling, most of the world’s metal production today is still from mined virgin ore. Recycling rates can improve with process improvements. A software donor to the scrap metal recycling industry continually strives to economical its product to help recyclers improve efficiency, compliance, and profitability. Cs in the industry, such as ever-changing compliance issues, mean recyclers can benefit from software to help them remain competitive.
Other technological changes could enhance metal recycling rates. New consumer product designs could make dismantlement easier at disposal. Improved recycling process technology could keep pace with complex products. These advances are essential because we all benefit from metal recycling!