Metal Recycling Facts

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Metal Recycling Facts

We use metal daily in a variety of ways. It is a vital component of cars, chairs, household appliances, light fixtures, aluminum cans, kitchen faucets, electrical wires, door handles, keys, and more. Metal recycling helps you play your part in improving the Austin community and environment.

Scrap metals are one of the most straightforward recyclables, as recyclers can transform them into many new items for reuse. This process saves money and energy plus reduces the demand for virgin materials from the earth.

Scrap Metal Recycling Facts

Converting scrap materials for reuse is a common practice as it has many benefits for businesses, individuals, and the environment.

  • The recycling process for metal uses less energy than its production. Reprocessing aluminum requires only five percent of the energy needed to produce new aluminum. Creating recycled paper uses only about 60% of the power necessary to manufacture paper from raw materials.
  • Metal can withstand repeated recovering processes, making it an excellent choice for helping the environment.
  • The decomposition of aluminum cans takes up to 500 years. Reclaiming one aluminum can save enough energy to power a lightbulb for 20 hours. The aluminum can recycle rate in 2019 was only 55.9%. Consumers throw away more than one million tons of aluminum containers each year. People in the United States toss more than $700 million worth of aluminum cans into the trash every year.
  • From construction scraps to food cans, metal recycling companies can reuse this material for the same things. Recovering and reusing steel reduces both water and air pollution.
  • The United States recycled about 50.4 million metric tons of scrap metal in 2017.
  • The Universal Recycling Ordinance in Austin requires businesses to provide convenient access to recycling bins for employees and customers.

The Most Commonly Recycled Scrap Metal Types

Recycling companies can recycle ferrous and non-ferrous metals, making it easy for businesses to keep scrap out of the United States landfills.

  • Steel is the most recycled material. It is a component of large appliances, cars, chairs, and more. Steel recycling is possible for many years after its production without loss of strength. It is easy to recycle steel as its magnetic properties simplify the process of removing impurities. In North America, people recycle more than 80 million tons of steel each year.
  • Copper plays a role in electrical wiring, pipes, and other components. It is valuable as scrap, so you can score some extra cash by salvaging this material.
  • Aluminum is a versatile element found in beverage cans, siding, gutters, doors, car parts, and more. This commonly found metal takes little time to recycle, making it an excellent reusable resource. The metal recycling industry can recycle an aluminum can in as little as two months. Reclaiming aluminum is cost-effective and efficient.
  • Brass is a heavy metal that combines elements of copper and zinc. You find it in bathroom fixtures, plumbing, door handles, and keys. Brass has significant economic and environmental benefits as you can recycle it repeatedly without losing any physical or chemical properties.

Start Recycling Scrap Metal Today

There are many benefits to recycling metal for everyone. Contact Austin Metal & Iron to receive a free quote for how much your copper, aluminum, iron, and steel are worth. Choosing to recycle scrap metal keeps it out of the landfill and puts money in your pocket. It’s a winning situation for everyone.

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Image Credit: Shutterstock/ David Tadevosian