Recycle scrap metal this month and you’ll be part of a nationwide celebration of reprocessing waste materials to give them a new lease of life, and to be kinder to the environment.
September 24th-30th is Recycle Week 2018 and in a year when the focus has been firmly on plastics recycling, we’re taking the chance to remind everyone of the benefits you get when you recycle scrap metal.
The theme of this year’s event is ‘Recycling. We do. Because it matters.’ and we agree that all forms of recycling matter – and recycling scrap metal in particular can have some great benefits.
Money for scrap metal
There’s the financial benefit of getting money for scrap metal, which means that there’s no self-sacrifice needed when you recycle scrap metal, as you can gain from doing so.
All too often, helping the environment means missing out on something or spending more money on an eco-friendly option.
But when you recycle scrap metal, you’re putting valuable resources back into the supply chain and making a decent amount of money in the process, depending on how much scrap metal you have to cash in.
More secure supplies
Recycled scrap metal is now an important part of the overall supply chain, and it can either be mixed in with brand new ‘virgin’ metal freshly produced from its ore, or in many cases no ore is needed at all.
Ultimately if we are able to produce new metal from 100% recycled scrap metal, that closes the loop in terms of sustainability in the metal supply chain.
That’s good news for the future, as in theory there is no reason why the same metal can’t be reprocessed time and time again to make new cars, food and drink containers, structural steel for buildings, and anything else you might name.
Better energy stability
Manufacturing metal from its ore is extremely energy intensive – it takes an awful lot of power to extract metal from rock, to melt it and to mould it into the desired shape.
Although recycled metal still has to get very hot to shape it into finished products, the overall amount of energy used is much less than when making the same item from virgin metal.
That means it’s good news for energy supplies, reducing the demand placed on the National Grid and leaving more juice in the lines to power homes, schools, hospitals and other businesses.
Cutting the carbon footprint
Finally, all of this adds up to good savings on carbon emissions. Recycled metal means less ore mined out of the ground, the energy savings remove further emissions from the total footprint, and it often means recycled scrap metal can be processed within the UK to avoid unnecessary ‘carbon miles’ from transportation too.
And of course when you recycle scrap metal – just like when you recycle plastic, glass, paper, or anything else – you avoid sending it to landfill sites, which means less damage to the landscape and more years of operation from existing sites, before we need to open any new ones.
Ultimately the aim is to recycle 100% of the waste we throw away, by finding ways to reprocess it or to use it to generate power and further improve our energy security – all of which means that when you sell scrap metal for recycling, it really does matter in more ways than you might imagine.