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Savannah Coulsen

In a culture that recycles over 150 million metric tons of metallic materials each year in the US alone, one cannot honestly say that there is no recycling effort taking place. Yet, many people are not aware of the many benefits that can be derived from a comprehensive effort to clean up the environment. Our article below covers several direct benefits produced today by scrap metal recycling operations across the US.

Economic Reasons

The US scrap metal recycling industry in 2008 resulted in the creation of more than 85,000 jobs and $86 billion being generated in revenue. That same year, the US exported roughly 44 million metric tons of scrap commodities that resulted in a more balanced US trade economy. Production of everyday items such as staples, paper clips, fasteners, jewelry, tools, city infrastructures and elements of buildings themselves all make up the scrap metal industry.

Today, the industry is not only good for the environment, but it's good for business as well. Over 450,000 new jobs were created within the last three years at a time when the economy appeared to be in dire straits. Best of all, they were high quality, good-paying jobs that fed money back into a fragile and stagnant economy.

Energy/Natural Resources

Producing metals from virgin ore is an expensive process--both naturally and economically. However, the recycled scrap metal process not only reduces the amount of greenhouse gas emissions, but it also helps preserve the earth’s precious natural resources.

For instance, using recycled material saves up to 92 percent aluminum, 90 percent copper and more than 56 percent of steel stockpiles. Moreover, the recycling of just one ton of steel preserves more than 2,500 pounds of iron, 1,400 pounds of coal and more than 120 pounds of limestone. In addition, one ton of recycled aluminum helps conserve 8 tons of bauxite ore and 14 megawatt hours of electrical energy.

Ecological/Environmental Benefits

In a concentrated effort to preserve the ecological system, one cannot stress enough the importance of having a comprehensive program for recycling of scrap metals. Being that scrap metals are as usable, malleable and less expensive to produce then virgin material, it’s crucially important to have professional recyclers do the taxing work of removal and recycling according to General Recycling Industries Ltd., one of the many Edmonton scrap yards.

All things considered, there are no valid reasons for not recycling scrap metals. The scrap metal industry consistently proves itself as being cost effective for those involved inside the industry and outside of it. But more importantly, as the obvious stewards of earth’s resources, scrap metal processing just may help avoid a possible future ecological disaster.

Savannah Coulsen

Congratulations! Your permit to build a new house has been approved. There are some things you need to consider when designing and building your dream home. One of the most important aspects is how energy efficient your home will be once it is built. This is important because non energy efficient products will eventually need to be replaced and will cost you more money to maintain. By starting at the conception stage with planning out what materials will be used where and noting how certain materials react to climate change, you have a better idea of how to make your new home more energy efficient from the beginning instead of having to replace and/or repair existing material.

So where do you start? You might first start by getting with a qualified architect and have him do a performance analysis on how your proposed design will hold up under a variety of factors such as weather and carbon footprint. Leaky roofs and windows cause problems such as heat loss and increased energy consumption. Having energy efficient materials however will ensure that you remain warm in cold weather and save energy. Energy solutions should include your roof, your windows and doors, your heating and cooling system and your lighting.

Selecting the right roof for your home

After your foundation, your roof is the most important item in your proposed home. You need to consider what material you'll use and how it reacts to the climate. You want to make sure that you have the right material for your area of the country according to Great Canadian, a company that provides roofing and siding in Calgary.

Keeping the cold and heat out of your home

When looking for energy efficient windows and doors, you need to know what climate zone you are in, what material you can use and how resistant it will be to leaks. Correctly installed windows and doors will save you thousands in energy costs. Energy efficient windows should have quality frame materials such as aluminum, multiple panes of glass, low e-glass, gas fills and warm edge spacers. Doors also need quality frame materials for any glass, a good core material and weather stripping.

Making sure you are warm in the summer and cool in the winter

Once you have established what you are going to use for your framework, you must decide what heating and cooling system you will use for your home. Having solar panels on your roof will cut heating costs by half by connecting your heating/cooling system to them. Conventional heating/cooling systems also provide energy savings. Deciding what heating/cooling system you want in your home is a matter of what initial costs you will incur in both construction and materials. Solar energy may be your best bet if you are living in a climate zone where there is a lot of sunlight. You may want to consider having both a conventional and solar powered heating/cooling system just in case.

Let there be light!

Lighting your home is important as far as energy conservation is concerned. Replacing old fluorescent lights with newer LEED lights will cut your energy bill in half. When you are first starting to plan out your new home, consider both the climate and the light's function inside your home. For example, a reading lamp by a bedside wouldn't need a 100 watt light bulb to light efficiently. Planning the use of which light source will go where and how much light you need will help you be more energy efficient and save you energy costs.

Building your new home can be a challenging and rewarding experience. Energy efficient roofs, windows and doors, heating and cooling systems, and the right lighting will go a long way towards making your dream home a reality instead of a nightmare. Energy costs do vary, so you must make a determination about which material you will use to build and maintain your new home.

Savannah Coulsen

If you're used to thinking of recycled paper as being dingy or recycled plastic as being weak or making discolored products, then you don't know modern recycling. The reincarnation of certain materials through recycling means they will live forever.


Glass can be recycled endlessly with no loss of quality. The industry term for scrap glass that's furnace-ready is cullet, and the only material used more than cullet is sand. Cullet is always an important ingredient in glass, which decreases the amount of energy required. Glass containers are 100 percent recyclable, but they need to be separated from other kinds of glass like windows, ovenware, crystal and Pyrex. Recycled glass that's unable to be used in new glass bottles and jars is often used for non-container glass products like tile, sand blasting, filtration, concrete pavements and parking lots.


If you want to truly dig in to the idea of recycling, consider metals. Companies like Federal Metals Inc., a company that recycles stainless steel in Calgary, provide recycled metals to manufacturers. Most recycling plants pay for the metals brought to them, and they pay the most for copper. You'll generally get more money for non-ferrous metals which have less iron in them, and materials like aluminum, brass, lead, copper or stainless steel will get your more money for your recycling effort. Stainless steel is 100 percent recyclable. It's sorted from other recyclable metals, compacted into large blocks, cut into small pieces and is finally melted down. Today, the average object made of stainless steel is almost 60 percent recycled material.


Electronics are mined for metals like god and copper which are eventually turned into new components, and the staggering amount of outdated electronics is measured in tons. Cellphones contain silver, gold, palladium, platinum, copper, zinc and tin which is recovered in the recycling process and is used to make jewelry, electronics and plating. The plastic from TV shells, computer cases and other electronics is used to make new plastic products like license plate frames, garden furniture and non-food containers.


Plastics are separated by resin type and then shredded and melted into pellets. Of the seven resin types, numbers one and two are most commonly picked up through curbside programs. Resin type number one is recycled into polar fleece, tote bags, furniture and carpeting. Resin number two is recycled into pens, recycling containers, floor tile, picnic tables, and drainage pipe.

If you recycle to make a few extra dollars collecting scrap metal or plastic bottles, great. If you do it because you know it's the right thing to do, good for you. It doesn't matter why you recycle, it just matters that you do.

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