Why is metal recycling important?

Here at Maxilead Metals, we’re ever the advocates of metal recycling and its many benefits. To both you, the environment and the economy – it’s a practice that benefits all. Recycling has become increasingly common practice as businesses have become more environmentally aware and have been set targets by the government that they need to adhere to. These efforts are helping to meet international goals of cost reduction, sufficient management of limited resources and effective environmental responsibility.

The three R’s of recycling (reduce, reuse, recycle) is a phrase we are all accustomed to hearing as the practice becomes more and more commonplace in homes and businesses across the UK. By now we’re all used to separating our plastics, papers, bottles, cans etc. ready to be given a new lease of life through the process of recycling. But, what about metal recycling? Is the operation as common as our day to day reprocessing of other materials?

The current state of the metal recycling industry

The positive contribution of metal recycling is not to be undermined by its paper and plastic counterparts. It is estimated that some 10 million tonnes of scrap metal are recycled every year. Helping to save energy, protect the environment and to support a force of at least 10,000 British workers.

The industry of metal recycling is strong and fast growing; being a significant net contributor to UK trade – we couldn’t do without it. The industry is said to contribute more than any other in ‘end of life’ recycling (which includes aged vehicles, packaging, batteries, WEEE, etc.)

In short, metal recycling is indispensable to the economy and the environment alike. Without it, we’d be met with a whole range of troubles. But, why is metal recycling specifically important to you? Read on to find out.

Why metal recycling is important to you

Whether you are an individual with an abundance of scrap metal on your hands, or a construction site looking to dispose of old materials – metal recycling is important. By recycling your old metals you’ll not only reap the personal benefits, but you’ll also be helping the economy, trade industry and environment too.

The environmental benefits

Metal recycling benefits the environment by reducing the need to gather new materials. A process in which can damage the climate in an abundance of varying ways. The production of new metals releases a far greater amount of greenhouse gas emissions compared with those that are released from metal recycling. These emissions impact climate change and can cause harmful levels of air pollution. Air pollution is said to be linked to shortening the lives of around 40,000 individuals per year. So all in all, we want to work to reduce that.

The benefits of metal recycling are already making themselves known. According to the National Institute of Health, using scrap metal instead of new metal generates 97% less mining waste and uses 40% less water. Not only this but the Institute of Scrap Metal Recycling Industries (ISRI) has reported that recycling metal can cut greenhouse gas emissions by around 300 to 500 million tons.

Why metal recycling is important to you: With benefits to greenhouse gas emissions, mining and water consumption – metal recycling is really a no brainer. How does it benefit you? Well, for the feel-good factor if nothing else; it’s good to know you’re helping out the environment. In addition, there are also energy benefits and economic benefits too.

The energy benefits

Not only does metal recycling directly benefit the environment, it also indirectly benefits it (and you) too! It is estimated that the amount of energy saved from using recycled metals as opposed to virgin ore is approximately:

  • 92% for aluminum
  • 90% for copper
  • 56% for steel

In fact, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; recycling a single aluminium can help you conserve enough energy to power a 60-watt light bulb for 20 hours, a computer for 3 hours or a TV for 2 hours. Now, imagine the energy that can be saved from the tonnes and tonnes of scrap metal that is recycled year on year.

Why metal recycling is important to you: we are running out of non-sustainable energy sources such as fossil fuels, there’s no doubt about that. Increasing pressures are being placed upon renewable sources such as light and wind. However, the speed in which we are consuming energy does not match the speed in which we can replace it. Therefore, it’s crucial that we are doing everything we can to preserve the energy that’s still circulating – and that starts with metal recycling. Metal recycling can benefit you by allowing you to use your computer more, keep your TV on or even just keep your home lit for longer. Not to mention, it’s good to know you’re making a difference too.

The economic benefits

So we’ve mentioned the environmental and energy benefits, but what about the economic ones too?

Not only is metal recycling invaluable to the climate; it also greatly benefits the economy too. In the UK alone, the scrap metal industry is valued at over £5.6 billion annually. Out of the UK’s scrap metal recycling trade, 90 percent was exported worldwide. Our country is actually one of the five largest metal exporting countries in the world. Not to mention, it creates and upholds thousands of jobs too; an estimated 15,000 for that matter.

Why metal recycling is important to you: as well as the economic benefits nationally and globally, how about the economic benefits for you? Its safe to say your metal recycling efforts will go rewarded.

Maxilead pay competitive prices by the kg. We use the latest technology to accurately grade and analyse your scrap metal to offer the best prices around. So, if benefiting the environment and the economy isn’t enough – then maybe the personal rewards you’ll reap is.

To read more about scrap metal recycling, head over to our blog. Or, for more information and to get a quote – get in touch with us today.

Tue, 16 March 2021

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