By now, we all know that recycling helps the environment. However, with so many mind-numbing regulations, we can lose sight of the practical good that comes from recycling. Take metal, for example. Forever reusable, the metal from obsolete items is remade into other objects we use every day.
How It Works
Scrap metal is salvaged from a variety of sources, ranging from old home appliances, such as fridges and stoves, junk cars Sussex County NJ and surplus building materials. Scrap dealers pay third parties or owners directly for trash metal products. These are then purified and sorted at scrapyards according to their content of various metals. This separation is necessary before metal may be resold and reprocessed.
Where It Goes
Although scrappers may sell some items as is, more often, objects are shredded or smelted and sold as ingots. Ferrous metals, which contain high amounts of iron, are frequently forged into steel. Preexisting steel is molded into new shapes for new usages. Non-ferrous metals with little to no iron content undergo different reforging processes. In this way, your discarded pocket change is turned into soup cans, an old soup can becomes part of a new car, and old car parts are repurposed as components in your new computer.
Why We Recycle
Given the hard work of recycling, it’s crucial that the benefits outweigh the costs. Statistics show just how much this is the case. The majority of American metal has been previously recycled, including some 47.5% of iron and steel in 2017. However, metal that gets into landfills has a meager 34% chance of being rescued for reuse.
Automobiles are made almost entirely from recyclable materials, including 65% steel and iron. Using recycled steel means major savings in labor and energy costs for both iron ore extraction and new steel production. Meanwhile, the Earth is spared the related greenhouse gas emissions, along with untold damage and pollution from iron mines.
Understanding firsthand how metal and other materials are reused can give people a greater commitment to recycle, thereby promoting the preservation of our planet.