Recycle Scrap Metal and Go Green
Recycle. The word is ubiquitous, found in leaflets, magazines, newspapers, and seen everywhere on TV. When we talk of recycling, we usually think of plastics, glass, paper, clothing, or furniture, because these are things we recycle most often. But did you know that you can recycle metal too? Yes, used pieces of metal, which are almost always discarded, are known as scrap metal and are suitable for reprocessing and recycling. Scrap metal recycling is a big industry, and possibly one of the most environmentally-friendly industries we have.
How does Scrap Metal Recycling Save the Planet
When you recycle metal, you save raw material by reusing the same metal again. You save the ores that naturally occur in the earth’s surface, preserving them for future generations. It saves the energy and money that would have been spent on drilling and mining for ores. Thus, you have saved valuable natural resources by not digging for ores and instead recycling the used metal. You also conserve another incredibly valuable resource – water, because mining for ores to procure metals can involve excessive wastage of water. And when you avoid digging unnecessarily, you prevent soil erosion! This maintains soil integrity and saves wildlife habitats.
Scrap recycling metal also reduces your carbon footprint. The raw materials need to be shipped from the mining site to the production facility, and from there on to the manufacturing plant where the newly minted metal would be put to use. This involves transportation, which means burning of fossil fuels leading to production of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide. So by consuming fossil fuels you have used up considerable amounts of the planet’s limited natural resources. If you recycle scrap metal, you’re reducing the consumption of the fossil fuels and also reducing air and water pollution.
Think before You Throw!
When we dump metal junk without giving it a second thought, we allow harmful chemicals to release into water, land, and air. Toxic waste from petroleum fuel, diesel, and battery acid all leach into water bodies and even percolate into the soil. Think for a moment before you dispose any item. By making sure that you don’t discard junk metal, you also contribute to reducing litter. Less litter means smaller landfills. It can also mean a decrease in the number of illegal dumping sites.
Even though most of us are cognizant of the fact that we shouldn’t toss away any waste that might cause environmental damage, we don’t really give it much thought. One of the main reasons we do it to avoid the trouble it might put us through to segregate, clean, and organize the waste metal and taking the effort to haul it to the nearest junkyard. This attitude needs to change. Dump sites attract additional garbage; and would you like to be the one who adds to it? People are slowly waking up to the fact that they need to do their bit for the environment. Almost all major industrialized cities whether it’s San Jose or Memphis or any other city have taken up metal management seriously. We as citizens should do our bit, whether as factory owners or individuals, not to discard metal pieces in dumpsters and landfills, and instead sort them and take them to scrap dealers, where they can be recycled and put to good use.
Metal Scrap Can Be Recycled
Though metals are finite natural resources, they have an indefinite lifespan; which basically means there’s no limit to the number of times you can recycle them! Take the case of aluminum, one of the most widely recycled metals. Here are some interesting tidbits – did you know that when you recycle an aluminum can, it is back up on the shelves in two months? ; energy enough to run a television for three hours can saved by recycling an aluminum can an entire South African commercial air fleet can be rebuilt with the amount of aluminum thrown by South Africans in three months.2 Amazing, isn’t it? So imagine how much metal we can save if we recycle it! So the next time you’ve emptied your can of soda, pause and think a moment before you toss it onto the curbside! There are several scrap yards in each city, which will gladly relieve you of your scrap metal and pay you a good price for it!
Take a proactive stance toward the whole issue and recycle your used metal items. It conserves landfill space, natural resources, and energy. Scrap metal could be found in anything from old appliances, cables, wires, plumbing and bathroom fixtures, laptops, and even your car! In an age where “Go Green” is the catchphrase, what’s better than protecting the environment by recycling your old junk and getting a few greenbacks in exchange!?