Metal Recycling Facts And Figures

When it comes to facts and figures about scrap metal, we are looking at a range of materials from building demolition to clothes hangers, and when it comes down to it, it can all be recycled. Generally, scrap metals are classified into two categories:  Non-Ferrous Metals and Ferrous Metals.

Let’s have a look on some of the useful facts and figures on both of these categories of metals:

Non-Ferrous Metal Recycling Facts:

  • 25,000 Statues of Liberty can be built with copper that is recycles per year.
  • Currently, 20 percent of the world supply of recovered copper is provided by South Africans.
  • Copper and copper alloy scraps account for nearly half of the total copper consumed annually.
  • Aluminum was first discovered in the 1820s and until now it is the most abundant metal available on earth. And Aluminum is a very sustainable metal. About two-thirds of all aluminum produced ever is still in use.
  • 92 percent of energy can be saved by using aluminum scrap instead of virgin materials in the production of different aluminum products.
  • Recycling just one aluminum can saves sufficient energy that can be used to run a 100 watt light bulb for around 20 hours, a TV set for around 2 hours and a computer for around 3 hours.
  • The scrap aluminum that are thrown away every month are enough to rebuild the entire South African air fleet.
  • Approximately 61 billion aluminum cans were recycled and reused in South Africa in 2011. This number accounts for 65.1 percent of scrap aluminum cans generated in South Africa in that year. Recycling of these aluminum cans saved approximately 17 million barrels of gasoline which is adequate to fuel over 1 million automobiles on road for nearly twelve months.
  • According to estimates, 85 percent to 90 percent of all automobile aluminum is recycled. But, according to EPA, in 2009, only 50.7 percebt of scrap aluminum was recycled.
  • In the year 2012, South Africa scrap industry processed 2.0 million metric tons of copper and 5.4 million metric tons of aluminum.

Ferrous Metal Recycling Facts:

  • In the year 2011, around 570 million metric tons of ferrous metals were consumed globally.
  • In 2012, more than 55 million metric tons of ferrous metal was recycled by the South African scrap industry. In that year, the South African ferrous scrap metal industry was valued approximately R30.1 billion.

Currently, South Africa is one of the largest exporter of ferrous scrap metal in the world. In the year 2012, South Africa exported approximately 20 million metric tons

 

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