Recycling is the process of turning used materials into new materials as a means of helping the environment. A major form of recycling is scrap metal recycling. Scrap metal recycling, along with other types of recycling, helps the environment by reducing the use of energy, the consumption fresh raw materials, preventing useful materials from being wasted and reducing water and air pollution (from landfills and incineration) and lessening our need for our conventional disposal of waste, which will also reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions.
Scrap metal recycling is the breakdown and reproduction of different kinds of metals. Metals are broken down into either ferrous or non-ferrous metals. Ferrous metals may be iron or steel, which are both the easiest materials to reprocess as well as the most recycled materials in the world. Scrap metal recycling of ferrous materials is done by remelting the steel in an electric arc furnace or used in a Basic Oxygen Furnace. Steel can be easily recycled into a high quality new type of metal, with no downgrade in quality. Crude steel is used in almost 50% of scrap metal recycling processes.
One of the most widely used recycling non-ferrous metals is aluminum. Whether it’s crushed and smashed into small pieces or bales, it’s extremely efficient and easy to recycle. Scrap metal recycling of aluminum is highly efficient because there is no change in the metal, making it possible to continue recycling it indefinitely. The cost or making new aluminum is saved by almost 95% when using recycled aluminum. Once the aluminum is crushed into small pieces or bales, they are put into an aluminum smelter where molten aluminum is formed. At this point, you can’t tell virgin aluminum from the recycled aluminum. So much more energy is used to extract new aluminum from the mine, that it is much cheaper to just recycle the used aluminum.
Scrap metal recycling helps to preserve our natural resources and save energy as well as reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. Over 145 million tons of scrap materials are removed from landfills by scrap metal recycling. In areas where there is a large amount of scrap, it’s often taken to junkyards or scrap yards until it can be put into a melter to be processed into a new product. By keeping them out of the landfills, we’re helping to keep our water and air cleaner buy eliminating any possibly hazardous materials from the atmosphere.
Almost everything today can be recycled and the public is always encouraged to recycle every chance they get. Aluminum soda cans that are recycled may seem like a small item yet comprise a great amount of materials. Many families save these for their environment as well as the money they can get for the recycled cans.