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Why Metal Recycling is Essential For a Greener Future

Metal recycling is a vitally important part of preserving the health of our environment. By recycling scrap metal, hundreds of millions of tons of metal waste is diverted from landfills. Oftentimes, metal is sent directly to production plants to immediately be made into new goods, with very little time needed for reprocessing. The following are a few reasons metal recycling is important for a greener future.

Avoiding Resource Depletion

Metal ores are considered a non-renewable resource. This means that once we mine all of the ore present in the Earth's crust, there is no more available for our use. Metal ores may take eons to form. This means that ore renewal is impossible in the scope of human existence. The more wisely we allocate the use of our natural resources, the less we must worry about exhausting the Earth's bounty.

Reduced Amounts of Toxins

Producing metals from raw ore requires the use of many caustic and toxic chemicals. When metals are recycled, the use of nearly all harmful substances is avoided. Water is the primary substance used in non-ferrous metal recycling, and is often returned to its original source cleaner than when it was discovered.

Effective Use of Energy

Refining ore requires high heat, which gobbles up electricity, coal and natural gas. By recycling scrap metal, large amounts of energy are saved. For example, if a person were to recycle 1 steel can per week, they would be saving enough electricity to power a 60 watt light bulb for over 24 hours! Recycling scrap metal allows us to conserve precious energy, reducing the harmful impact of electricity production upon the environment.

Lowered Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Recycling existing metal produces markedly less greenhouse gas emissions than processing raw ore. Aluminum, one of the most easily recyclable metals, can be recycled and put back into primary use within 60 days. According to a specialist from General Recycling Industries Ltd, recycling an aluminum soda can saves 92% of the energy that would have been used to produce a can from raw materials. This saved energy translates into lowered greenhouse gas production and pollution.

Globally, citizens are becoming more aware and educated about the harmful impact industry and production has on the environment. Through recycling, we are discovering increasingly responsible ways to reuse materials in many manufacturing processes. Recycling is not only important for the greener future of our planet, it is essential to long-term economic sustainability.


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