The Scrap Metal Loop
You see, when scrap metal is thrown away into a dumpster, it will sit there for years. For example, tin cans take 50 years to degrade, aluminum cans can take 80-100 years, and steel takes up to 100 years to fully degrade in a landfill.
Instead of throwing these items away, consider this:
- The energy saved from recycled aluminum in 2010 equaled 17 million barrels of crude oil.
- Electronic waste is piling up at a rate of 40 million tons per year.
- A recycled aluminum can saves enough energy to run a TV for 3 hours.
When metal is recycled, it reduces greenhouse gas emissions and conserves a considerable amount of energy from not having to use virgin ore. By recycling one ton of steel, we conserve 2,500 lbs of iron ore, 1,400 lbs of coal, and 120 lbs of limestone, while recycling a ton of aluminum conserves 14 megawatt hours of electricity!
Reuse & Conservation
Scrap metal is collected for beneficial reuse, conserving impressive amounts of energy, and natural resources in the recycling process. For example, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):
- Recycled aluminum saves the nation 95 percent of the energy that would have been needed to make new aluminum from ore
- Recycled iron and steel result in energy savings of 74%
- Recycled copper result in energy savings of 85%
Processing and preparing your scrap metal instead of simply throwing it away begins the vital chain of manufacturing new metal which saves our country crucial energy every day.