Metal Recycling Facts You Might Have Overlooked
Metals are an essential and reusable resource here on our planet. Even though the ultimate supply of metal is fixed by nature, humans help determine the quantity of supply available for use at any point in time through developing processes for the recovery of primary and secondary metals.
Recycling is an important factor in the supply of many of the metals used in our society. It also provides environmental benefits in the form of energy efficiency, waste volume reduction, and reduced emissions.
Here are some key points to remember in recycling metals:
– Metals are usually separated into two groups: aluminum and steel.
– Use a magnet to test which metal your waste is. Aluminum is non-magnetic while steel is magnetic.
– Materials made from aluminum sometime have the symbol alu marked on them.
– Drink cans are made from aluminum.
– Food cans are made from steel.
– Look for recycling centers around your area. Most of them accept metals for recycling.
– Make sure that your drink and food cans are clean before recycling.
– If you’re going to donate aerosol cans for recycling, make sure that they’re completely empty.
Metal Recycling Facts and Figures on Recycling Metals
– The amount of copper that the United States recycles yearly can build as much as 25,000 Statues of Liberty.
– The United States provides 20 percent of the world’s supply of recovered copper.
– Aluminum remains to be the most abundant metal available on Earth. It is also the most sustainable because it can be recycled over and over again.
– Using aluminum scrap instead of virgin materials can save as much as 92 percent of energy required for production.
– Recycling one aluminum can save enough energy to run a 100-watt light bulb for approximately 20 hours, a television set for around two hours and a personal computer for three hours.
– Every month, the United States throws away enough scrap aluminum to rebuild the entire American air fleet.
– An estimated 61 billion aluminum cans were recycled and reused in the United States in 2011.
– In 2011, 65.1 percent of scrap aluminum cans were generated in the United States
– Recycling aluminum cans saved 17 million barrels of gasoline — this amount is enough to fuel over 1 million vehicles for 12 months
– In 2012, the US scrap industry processed 2 million metric tons of copper. That same year, they processed 5.4 million metric tons of aluminum.
– In 2011, the world consumed around 570 million metric tons of ferrous metals
– In 2012, the US scrap metal industry recycled more than 55 million metric tons of ferrous metal.
– Recycling steel consumes 60 percent less energy compared to when steel products are produced from iron ore.
– 52 percent of carbon dioxide emissions can be reduced by using ferrous scrap instead of virgin materials in producing steel and iron.
– When a steel mill uses recycled steel, air and water pollution is reduced by around 70 percent.
– Approximately 100 million steel and tin cans are used by Americans daily.
– For every ton of steel we recycle, we save 120 pounds of limestone, 1,000 pounds of coal and 2,500 pounds of iron ore.
– By recycling every car, we save 120 lbs. of limestone, 1,400 lbs. of coal and 2,500 lbs. of iron ore.
How do you recycle metals? Do you have something more to share on this subject? Tell us on the comments section below.