The benefits of recycling metal are endless for both the economy and the environment — mainly because scrap metal can be used, reused, and dispersed again and again. Reusing scrap metal ranges from industry use to home furnishings and even influences the world’s most famous artists.
From soda cans to semi-trucks, each year more than 150 million tons of scrap metal is recycled in the United States alone. But while recycling that empty soup can or scrap from your latest project might not seem like it makes a difference — it does! Read on to learn some of the biggest benefits of recycling scrap metal.
8 Benefits & Advantages of Recycling Scrap Metals
1. Good for the Environment
Recycling scrap metal by reusing it or selling it for reuse both have positive effects on the economy and the environment. When scrap metal is recycled it means there is less scrap metal in landfills and more space for actual waste like food and non-recyclable items. Freeing up space in our landfills means there is less pollution in the environment.
Recycling scrap metal touts numerous advantages, but perhaps the most significant is that it lessens the amount of greenhouse gas emissions. When new metal is produced from mined ore, it releases far greater amounts of greenhouse gas emissions than if recycled metal products were used. Not only do greenhouse gas emissions cause harmful levels of air pollution in cities, but emissions influence climate change — considering 2020 (tied with 2016) was the warmest year to date, this is a serious issue that should not be taken lightly.
But just how much better is recycled scrap metal when it comes to the environment? The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries estimates that recycling metal may cut greenhouse gas emissions by 300 million to 500 million tons. Moreover, the Northeast Recycling Council reports that with recycled steel alone there is an 86% reduction in air pollution, a 76% reduction in water pollution, and 40% less water used in the overall process. Using scrap metal instead of virgin ore also generates 97% less mining waste as well.
2. Conserves Energy
Recycling metal conserves energy that would otherwise be expended in metal manufacturing processes. Different metals require different amounts of energy and resources to be produced but consider this: Recycling steel uses 60% less energy than deriving it from raw materials. Recycling aluminum saves 95%! That means if you recycle your can of soda, you can help conserve enough energy to power a 60-watt light bulb for more than four hours!
Instead of creating new products from scratch, it takes less energy to achieve the same results with scrap metal. The reliance on new resources is minimized, and companies can save a fortune by reducing their energy consumption. The metal you are looking to recycle is already here, so it can simply be modified for a new purpose. These savings can even be passed down to the consumer, who can enjoy cheaper products as no new materials were needed to create their purchase.
3. Creates More Jobs
According to the National Institute of Health, some of the economic benefits of recycling metal include employing more than a million workers across the U.S. and generating $236 billion on an annual basis. Recycling metal creates 36 times the amount of jobs than sending it to an incinerator and six times more than sending it to a landfill. Following the challenges of the past two years, it’s more important than ever that we keep offering new job opportunities to workers in the U.S. This industry offers competitive salaries for many workers while also reducing the amount of metal that ends up in landfills.
4. Can Earn You Money
If you need another incentive for recycling your scrap metals, doing so can make you money. Scrap yards will gladly take aluminum, brass, copper, iron, and steel. As for how much you can earn — it varies. Different metals have different values, and different businesses will offer different cashouts. While potential profit varies, non-ferrous metals are typically worth more than ferrous metals like iron and steel.
5. Frees Up Your Space
Scraps of metal consume lots of occupied space in our garages, sheds, yards, and the like. Not only is it an eyesore, but it also doesn’t serve much purpose if it is only being stored. Recycling your scrap metal is an environmental duty that will pay off (literally!). Knowing what materials can be sold as scrap, locating the right buyers, and obtaining the best prices for your old appliances are all factors to consider when you want to get a return for your good service.
6. Conserves Natural Resources
As a population, we’ve all become more aware of the diminishing natural resources on our planet today. When new metal is required, this involves drilling deep into the ground and finding new base metals. One of the biggest advantages of recycling metals is that we reduce the natural resources that are used each day. Even the use of water is greatly decreased when metals are recycled, as a huge amount of water is needed to produce new materials. By recycling metals, we protect our planet, the local landscape, and our animal population for future generations to enjoy.
7. Metal Can Be Recycled Endlessly
When looking at the advantages of recycling metals, you’ll see that metal can be recycled over and over again. While some metals might see a slight decrease in their quality over time, most metals can be recycled an unlimited number of times. This means our reliance on new metals can decrease to almost nothing, protecting the environment and saving money in the long run.
8. Endless Metal Recycling Options
Many homeowners neglect to think about recycling metals and instead think this is something that’s reserved for large corporations. However, household items and appliances that are made from metal are great examples of items that can be recycled. A lot of cities are now introducing scrap metal recycling areas, as they see the many advantages of recycling metals. However, you could also consider trying to sell your scrap metal to a company such as ours for a little extra cash. It’s a great way to top up your vacation funds while also creating more space in your home by getting rid of unwanted metal goods.
How to Recycle Your Scrap Metal for Money
Step 1: Examine common household items.
It is easy to overlook certain items that contain valuable metals that can be sold. For instance, Christmas lights contain copper that can be sold as scrap. Toasters also contain copper and have a steel body that can all be recycled into something new instead of tossing it as waste when their mechanics begin to fail. Most appliances are sellable for their scraps, so look for anything in your home with metal and you are on the right track.
Here at Tampa Steel & Supply, we buy metal from both individuals and businesses. We are happy to consider any of your scrap metals, as we are invested in the advantages of recycling metals we’ve shared above. Our team will be happy to work with you to advise you about what can and can’t be recycled.
Step 2: Know the value of your metal.
Knowing what metals you have will pay off when working with our team. Some companies will pay more for specific types of metals than others, but our team will be here to ensure you get the right price for the metals you are looking to sell. You can always call ahead to find out what the price per pound is for your metal to find the best price. The payout prices tend to range from $0.05 – $2.00 per pound.
Step 3: Sell your scrap metal to Tampa Steel & Supply.
When it comes to selling your scrap metal, the best option is to work with a team that is experienced in this area. Here at Tampa Steel & Supply, we buy scrap metal from suppliers and individuals, making sure we continue to reduce our reliance on new metals. Recycling is a huge part of our business, and we are passionate about the advantages of recycling metals.
Our team will be here to discuss any questions you have about what type of metal can be recycled and ensure you receive a fair price for your material. No amount is too small or big for our team to consider, and we’ll be excited to work with you to minimize the amount of metal that goes into landfills each year.
Recycling metal is something that we believe should be accessible to everyone. The next time you think about putting something into a landfill, contact our team first to discuss whether it can be recycled. We’ll be happy to help you reduce your impact on the environment while also earning a little extra cash for unwanted metal that’s cluttering up your home or office.
Visit Tampa Steel & Supply for Steel
Are you in need of steel supplies? Look no further than the professionals at Tampa Steel & Supply. We stock an extensive list of steel products for whatever project you need to tackle. We’re proud to have served our customers for nearly four decades and are ready to assist you with your steel needs. Have questions? Give us a call today to learn more, or stop by our Tampa showroom.