Recycling metal is a process that’s been going on for many years, but its importance has been more emphasized in recent years in our effort to help clean up the environment of pollutants and save your environment. When we think of recycling metals, aluminum and steel are the metals that we are most commonly referring to are. There are other metals like silver, gold, copper and brass, but they don’t create a waste disposal problem. They also are seldom disposed of because of their value. Seldom do we hear of someone throwing out a gold ring just because it’s old.
Steel and aluminum, on the other hand, do create a problem with waste disposal. With over 200 million aluminum soda cans and 100 million steel cans being used every day, we have to do something to dispose of them. Rather than burning them in waste-to-energy plants or throwing them in landfills, we’re choosing the process of recycling metal. Recycling metal is the most efficient way to reducing the waste from steel and aluminum, next to using less of these materials when making the cans.
Aluminum is an ore that’s mined for the bauxite, a valuable material found in aluminum. Aluminum is formed only when it’s combined with oxygen, at which time, it forms alumina, a very hard material. To recycle the aluminum, they must get rid of the oxygen, which is done by putting it in a smelter where it’s dissolved into a liquid form. There, an electric current shoots through the liquid to separate the oxygen and the aluminum.
This process needs a lot of electrical energy. The melted aluminum goes to the bottom of the smelting pot. Making aluminum from bauxite costs a lot more than making it from the process of recycling metal. Although the recycling process has been around for many years, it’s become an everyday occurrence today with many recycling plants throughout the country. The reason why recycling plants and dealers can afford to pay you money for aluminum cans is because so much money and energy can be saved by recycling metal like aluminum.
The material that is recycled the most in the United States is steel. The main reason for this is that steel industries recycle a large amount of steel scrap from bridges, buildings cars, appliances, etc. Recycled steel is what all steel products are made from today. We can all do our part to help in recycling metal. Steel is used in almost all our household cans. By keeping them out of the landfills and into the recycling plants, we’ll not only help to save money and energy but our environment as well.