We encourage everyone to recycle their scrap metals. All types of material can be recycled and it is important that it is done correctly. Below are some tips on how you can properly recycle your various metals:
Metals, like aluminum, copper and steel are strong, durable and malleable, and have been used for thousands of years, and are still an important source for the creation of the many products we use in everyday life.
However, metals (unlike wood) are non-renewable natural resources. Unless we make a conscious effort to recycle these materials, these precious commodities will run out.
The good news is that many types of metals can be recycled without losing their original properties.
Importance of metal recycling
Household appliances, cars, planes, boats, railroad tracks, and other items that affect our daily livelihood, are made from metal.
The great thing about metal is the fact that it can be recycled indefinitely (in turn making it an eco-friendly material).
Advantages of recycling metal
- Helps to reduce the amount of paper, plastic and glass that needs to be produced.
- Less waste ending up in landfills.
- The consumption of natural resources is slowed.
- Recycling raises environmental preservation awareness to the public.
- Job are created.
- Reclaiming metal waste is easy, when compared to reclaiming other resources, such as paper and plastic.
- Many beautiful pieces of jewelry are made from recycled metals.
One disadvantage to metal recycling includes the need to have separate and specialized factories; that must be set up to effectively recycle metal scraps.
When many people think of recycling aluminum, they usually first think of soda cans, which is great, because a single recycled aluminum can is able to run a TV for a couple of hours.
There are many more household aluminum products that should be making their way into the recycle bin, such as: tin foil, baking trays and bathroom fixtures.
When aluminum is recycled, it only uses 5% of the energy required to produce a product, and only creates 5% of CO2 emissions that may be released into the atmosphere.
Iron ore is also a mined non-renewable natural resource. For each ton of steel that is recycled, 1.5 tons of raw iron ore can be saved (as well as a half of ton of coal and 40% of water). Household items that are made from steel include, but not limited to: cutlery, canned foods and gardening tools. All steel products are recyclable.
There is close to 12 million tons of steel and iron scrap metal that is produced every year, and 70% of that is reclaimed and recycled (the remaining end up in landfills).
A magnet can help easily make the distinction between steel and aluminum, and many metal recycling centers use this method to separate ferrous from non-ferrous metals. The magnet will stick to steel and not to aluminum.
Ferrous metals are in high demand, and they are usually the iron and steel that comes from automobiles, appliances and food cans. Non-ferrous metals include aluminum, brass, copper, lead, nickel and titanium.
Brass, copper, gold, nickel and silver are all metals that can be recycled. Sadly, these types of metals are occasionally ignored by homeowners, and never reach the recycling bin.