Recycling is a vital part of the popular sustainability mantra – Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. While many elements and compounds lose their integrity during the recycling process, metals do not. In fact, metals can be recycled over and over again without any loss of the properties that make them so attractive in the first place. 

Why Recycling Metal is a Great Idea

Recycling used metal products (scrap metal) into new ones offers several benefits to the environment and saves a lot of money too. Here are a few facts and figures from the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI):

  • Recycling metal can cut greenhouse gas emissions by 300 million to 500 million tons.
  • Producing new steel from recycled content requires 60 percent less energy and reduces CO2 emissions by 58 percent.
  • Manufacturing products from recycled aluminum saves up to 95 percent of the energy needed to manufacture them from virgin materials.
  • Recycling metal can cut greenhouse gas emissions by 300 million to 500 million tons. 

To give some perspective on what the figures above mean, consider this, recycling just a single aluminum can  save enough energy to run a 14 watt CFL bulb (60 watt incandescent equivalent) for 20 hours, a computer for 3 hours, or a TV for 2 hours, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Recycling metal means that the earth doesn’t have to be destroyed even further by mining and diverts waste from landfills. It’s also much cheaper to recycle metals than to extract them via mining making it a win-win situation all around. 

How is Scrap Metal Turned into New Products?

The entire process of turning scrap metals into new products begins in homes, salvage yards, factories, and other facilities where scrap metals may be found. Scrap metals are collected and taken to scrap yards. You can read about the procedure for handing in scrap metals at a scrapyard here. The metals at the scrapyard are weighed and person handing them in is paid for their scrap according to metal prices by weight. The entire process is made easier if the scrap is sorted according to metal type right at the beginning. At the yard, it is sorted into ferrous (iron-containing) and non-ferrous metals using magnets and specially designed machines. Once separated, the metals are shredded, purified, and melted to form bars, sheets, or rods before being sent to manufacturers to convert them into various goods. 

What Products are Made from Scrap Metals

Metals can be recycled infinitely, so any metal containing product you see may be made from recycled scrap metal. Many manufacturers of various products prefer using scrap metal as it can be much cheaper than new. Scrap metal is used to make a wide variety of products in industries like

Food Packaging: Food and beverage cans are popularly used forms of food packaging. Your favourite baked beans probably come in a steel can with a thin coating of tin. Many beverage cans are made from aluminum that is easily recycled. In fact, the EPA reports that Recycling steel and tin cans saves between 60 and 74 percent of the energy used to produce them from raw materials.

Machinery and Other Industrial Uses: Many heavy machines, tools, and even appliances for your home can be made from recycled metals. 

Construction: The construction industry makes wide use of recycled metals. Metal siding and roofing materials are typically made from aluminum or steel with a high percentage of recycled metal. Recycled metal is also used to make ductwork, plumbing, window frames and more.

Transportation: The transportation industry makes wide use of recycled metals. Airport hangers, train rails, and cars all use recycled metals as do shipping containers that are designed to withstand extreme weather conditions.

Home Décor: Metal home furnishings like wrought iron furniture, decorative copper items, light fixtures or brass doorknobs can all be made from recycled metals. Office cabinets and school lockers can also be made from recycled metals.

Sculptures: Metal sculptures may be made from melted scrap metal. Scrap metal art, on the other hand, is an entire sculpture movement where pieces of scrap metal are used as they are to create beautiful sculptures for homes, gardens, and even museums.

Allied Salvage and Metals Makes Recycling Easy

The knowledgeable team at Allied Salvage & Metals is here to help you with all your scrap needs by recycling a variety of ferrous and non-ferrous metals. Get in touch with us to help you with all your scrap metal recycling needs today!