The Environmental and Economic Benefits of Scrap Metal Recycling  

According to the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), over 150 million metric tons of scrap metal gets recycled in the U.S. every year. Recyclable metals include aluminum, brass, copper, steel, stainless steel, high temp alloys, and other metals. While most consumers and business owners know that recycling their scrap metal comes with the benefit of putting a little extra cash in their pockets, few are aware of just how many secondary benefits recycling has for the environment and the economy. Read on to get a clearer picture of how important metal recycling really is.

Recycling Conserves Valuable Natural Resources

Creating new metal products from raw ore requires the expenditure of not just energy but also a lot of non-renewable resources. Recycling metal helps to conserve those resources without posing any serious inconvenience to business owners. Some scrap metal processors even offer scrap metal pick up minneapolis mn business owners can use to get rid of their scrap metal efficiently and responsibly without so much as renting a truck. It takes a lot of power to convert virgin ore into usable metal and comparatively little energy to recycle it. The EPA estimates that recycling aluminum requires only five percent the amount of energy required to make primary aluminum products and that recycling steel can be up to 74% more energy-efficient than mining it.

Recycling Reduces Ecological Damage from Mining

Mining causes severe ecological damage. This should come as no surprise, given that most mines require the excavation of large amounts of land that could otherwise continue to provide a home for local plants, animals, and insects. The mining process also releases greenhouse gases (GHGs) into the atmosphere, contributing to global warming.

Recycling Contributes to US Trade Balances

The US scrap metal recycling industry generates billions of dollars for the country’s economy and creates hundreds of thousands of jobs. Plus, the US exports millions of metric tons of scrap metal. While global demand for other forms of recycling is on the decline, demand for recycled ferrous metals from Turkey, Vietnam, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and other countries is on the rise. This contributes significantly to US international trade balances.

Companies Can Recoup Lost Profits by Recycling

If a company pays for a certain amount of metal, then uses only a portion of it, that company stands to lose money on material waste. Recycling the unused metal will help them recoup some of the cost of the unused materials. That means recycling doesn’t just help the US economy, in general, but also individual business owners who dispose of their scrap metal responsibly.

The Bottom Line

Recycling scrap metal doesn’t just benefit business owners who need to get rid of extra metal from projects or aging metal machinery and equipment. It also benefits the environment and the US economy. While it’s important for all Americans to recycle their metal goods, commercial and industrial businesses have more to gain and more to give by recycling their scrap metal since they tend to produce more of it. Recycling is easy, so there’s no excuse for letting that metal wind up in the landfill.

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