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Why is the Recycling of Metals important?

August 06 2021

Due to the increase in world population and the increasing demand for metals, we have to take measures to make sure that we do not run out of metal resources in the future.

Moreover, the recycling of metals also saves energy.

Recycling is fantastic for the environment, but did you know that it can also be good for your pocket? Most municipalities will pick up your recycling, but the only metal you can recycle is aluminum cans. In addition to recycling cans, you can also sell the majority of your metal scrap to a recycling facility. It’s a win-win: you are getting paid the help the Earth.

Lets look at how you can start recycling metal.

Recycling scrap metal reduces the substantial amounts of greenhouse gas emissions produced during the various smelting and processing operations used when making metal from virgin ore. At the same time, the amount of energy used is also much smaller. Energy savings using various recycled metals compared to virgin ore is up to:

— 92 percent for aluminum

— 90 percent for copper

— 56 percent for steel

These savings are significant, especially when scaled up to large production capacities. Indeed, according to the U.S.Geological Survey, 60% of steel production comes directly from recycled iron and steel scrap. For copper, the proportion coming from recycled materials reaches 50%. Recycled copper is almost as valuable as new copper, making it a common target for scrap metal thieves.

Metal recycling also conserves natural resources. Recycling one ton of steel conserves 2,500 pounds of iron ore, 1,400 pounds of coal and 120 pounds of limestone. Water is also used in great quantities in the manufacturing of many metals.

According to an industry source, through recycling steel the amount of energy conserved would be enough to power 18 million homes for an entire year. Recycling a ton of aluminum conserves up to 8 tons of bauxite ore and 14-megawatt hours of electricity.That figure does not even account for shipping the bauxite from where it is mined, generally in South America. The total amount of energy saved in 2012 by making aluminum from recycled material added up to 76 million megawatt hours of electricity.

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