Recycling of metal is not a modern practice; it has been an on-going activity for the past hundreds of years, and it is growing in importance recently. To date, about one-third of the World’s aluminium is recycled product, similarly for steel and copper.
One of the most obvious benefits of metal recycling will be sustainability. Metal mining and processing of raw metals into functional ones are non-sustainable, since there is a limit to the amount of metals that Earth has. Thus, mere exploiting new mining grounds will also not guaranteed constant metal supply, resulting metal recycling as a better alternative. Furthermore, the amount of greenhouse gases emitted to the atmosphere is lesser for metal recycling than mining and processing of raw metals; contributing to the effort of saving the environment.
Recycling metal conserves energy that was previously spent on metal ore extraction, refining, and other processes of metal manufacturing. The amount of energy saved, varies in accordance to the types of metal, but in general, recycling of aluminium and copper, can save up to 90% of the energy, while half the energy is saved for iron and steel. Such saving will help in minimising of capital required for large construction or repair projects.
As the processes involved in metal recycling are complicated, the amount of direct or indirect jobs created, is equally huge. Besides, metal recycling industry produces 10 times more in terms of revenue and employment, as compared to other waste processing or recycling industries. Hence, metal recycling is beneficial to the economy too.
Recycling of metal scraps will also free up landfill space for other discards like food or non-recyclable plastics, reducing the piling up of large pieces of junk that maybe an eyesore. Similarly, metal recycling also provided an option for users who want to dispose of their own metal products. For example, instead of selling the used car back to the factory, one can also choose to dismantle car parts and sell to metal collectors.
Recycled metals can be made into plenty of new products from new buildings and vehicles, to containers and product parts. Because metals are trapped in the cycle of being employed, recycled, and making into new items, thus, it keeps related goods in an affordable manner. One does not have to pay a lump sum for canned food just because it is made of tin.
It may be minute but it is these small efforts that keep our lives going, so why say no to metal recycling?