Although we think of scrap metal recycling as a fairly new phenomenon the reality is that old metals have been recycled to make new ones for thousands of years. It’s only more recently that recycling come to light, especially with the recent increased interest in our planet, our environment and our overall global economy. With this in mind, here are some insightful facts about recycling scrap metals.
Scrap metal recycling as we know it today has evolved into a major industry and because of this it employs more than 100,000 people in Australia alone.
Positive environmental impact
The scrap metal recycling industry currently transforms more than 290 million tons of obsolete metal from manufacturers, businesses and consumers worldwide, and transforms it into a vast array of vital secondary raw materials needed for anything from buildings to technology to vehicles. Without recycling increased mining activities and the use of valuable virgin raw materials would grow tremendously.
In addition recycling reduces greenhouse gasses by making a huge saving on the amount of energy needed to manufacture the equivalent products. This energy saved can be used in better ways to power our vehicles or heat our homes.
Steel is by far the most recycled metal in the world accounting for over 70% of the world’s metal recycling. In the US alone (the world’s biggest re-cycler of ferrous metals to make steel) over 74 million tons were processed last year (2013) alone. This equates to a little over 55% of the country’s entire processed metal. Obsolete ferrous scrap including steel can be recovered from a wide variety of sources including vehicles, household appliances, structures or buildings, rail tracks, farming/industrial equipment, ships and many other sources. That said steel has an incredibly long shelf-life compared to other metals and this coupled with the insatiable demand for new steel products is likely to cause a dramatic shortage in scrap metal. In fact experts predict that within 30 years steel is likely to be made up mostly of virgin materials rather than recycled materials and that’s going to be seriously bad for the environment!
Many non-ferrous metals including copper, nickel, tin, lead and zinc are among only a handful of materials that won’t degrade or lose their physical/chemical properties during the recycling process. As a result many non-ferrous metals have the ability to be recycled an infinite number of times without weakening the end product.
So there you have it. Some interesting and hopefully insightful facts about scrap metal re-cycling and why we should do it!
If you’re in need of fast turn around on quality bespoke or standardised steel products for your project, then speak to Metro Steel. Operating in the Brisbane area, we offer a professional and reliable metal fabrication service and welcome all types of work. Contact us today on 07 3204 1000 and let us give you a seriously competitive quote.