Three Surprising Benefits of Recycling Scrap Metal
Common wisdom says that by recycling scrap metal, less waste makes it to the landfill, which is good for the environment. Did you know there are other environmental and economic benefits associated with cutting waste? Sending scrap to the recycler instead of the landfill has these three surprising benefits.
1. Boosts the Economy
Recovering and reprocessing scrap adds jobs for American workers. A 2011 report from the Institute for Scrap Metal Recycling estimates that 50,000 total positions have been created nationally. These occupations require skilled employees and often even pay higher than the national median annual wage, which boosts the domestic economy.
Internationally, waste is a valuable commodity, and the United States exports a great deal of garbage annually. In 2012, the combined total export value of aluminum, copper, iron and steel trash was 14.5 billion dollars. The buying and selling of recyclables is a large factor in a successful global economy.
2. Minimizes Mining
The detrimental effects of mining can hardly be understated. In addition to negative health effects for miners, there are several major environmental impacts that are a direct result of mining ore. Greenhouse emissions and toxic mining waste affect the entire planet as they deteriorate air and water quality for major sections of the world’s population.
3. Conserves Energy
Did you know that the energy saved by reprocessing a single aluminum can could illuminate a 60-watt lightbulb for over four hours? While the amount of energy conserved through reprocessing varies for different materials, the end result is always a significant savings over mining and refining a new product.