It’s easy to say you should start recycling because it’s good for the environment however making the commitment can be difficult. There are a variety of reasons recycling doesn’t happen as much as it should, but if we look at some of the benefits of reusing metals, it begins to make sense. Metals are a finite resource and mining new, virgin materials is not only costly and hazardous, but depletes natural reserves.
To help you understand how your business can make an impact, some of the benefits of recycling metals are listed below:
- Recycling scrap metals may cut greenhouse gas emissions by 300-500 million tons according to the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries. Greenhouses gases may influence climate change and increase the levels of pollution in cities that produce metals. The production of new metals generates far greater volumes of these gases and pollution than using recycled metals.
- When comparing the amount of energy required in processing recycled metals vs. producing new metals from raw materials, the difference is significant. There is more than a 90% energy savings when using recycled aluminum and copper and more than a 50% savings when using recycled steel. Lower energy costs result in lower productions costs which are passed along to the consumer.
- According to the National Recycling Coalition, the recycling industry helps the economy by generating more than $230 billion annually and employing more than a million people across the country.
- Not only does recycling help conserve the metal resources, but it also helps save other natural resources that are used in production. For example, recycling one ton of steel helps conserve 2,500 pounds of iron ore, 1,400 pounds of coal and 120 pounds of limestone.
- Utilizing scrap metal cuts down on over 90% of mining waste and uses 40% less water. These benefits drastically help the environment, especially in regions where water is not an expendable commodity.
- Recycling one soda can worth of aluminum helps conserve enough energy to power a 60-watt light bulb for more than four hours. 20 recycled aluminum cans are created with the energy that is required to produce one can using raw materials.
- The United States recycles more than 150 million metric tons of scrap metals annually.
- Recycling metal helps support thirty-six times more jobs than if these materials were being sent to an incinerator and six times more jobs than if it were just being sent to landfills.
As you can see, there are significant environmental benefits to recycling metals but also significant economic impacts as well. Energy conservation, less landfill space, pollution reduction, job creation and increased profits are directly related to the amount of metals that are recycled each year. We at Consolidated Resources believe in the benefits of recycling not only metals but all reusable materials. To learn how we can help you with your businesses unique recycling needs, visit our website.