What makes metal useful is that it can be recycled endlessly without changing its properties. Metal recycling helps us re-use raw materials with different types and qualities. The next step is processing or melting items and making brand new materials from them. The most recycled metals are steel, aluminium, gold, silver, copper and brass.
Why is Metal Recycling a Great Idea?
There are two aspects to metal recycling: financial and environmental. Mining, extraction and smelting for metal use a lot of energy in the form of electricity and water. Metal Salvage Services Ltd says recycling helps in preserving available resources and reducing harmful gases. Manufacturers who use recycled products have lower raw material costs. Recycling also helps create jobs.
You can recycle metal can many times without degrading its properties. Despite this, only 25-30% of metals get recycled.
Meanwhile, close to 40% of the steel used worldwide is recycled.
Steel and iron are the two metals recycled the most.
The most recycled metal in the world is aluminium.
Globally, around 400 million tons of metal gets recycled every year.
Classification of Metal
Ferrous – These have iron and carbon content. Some common items are carbon, alloy, wrought and cast iron
Non-ferrous – These include copper, aluminium, lead, tin and zinc
Precious metals fall into the non-ferrous category and include platinum, gold, iridium, silver and palladium
There are a few stages in the metal recycling process: collection, sorting, melting, purification, solidifying and transporting to users.
Challenges Faced by the Recycling Industry
Currently, the recycling rate is only at 30%, and a lot of reusable raw materials get wasted. Raising awareness about recycling collection centres will help to manage resources better.
The way items get manufactures is another challenge. For example, a cell phone has as many as 40 metal parts and extracting these for recycling can be a challenge.
Metal recycling is a huge industry with many opportunities. Even though rare and precious metals are used to build electronics, recycling these are not economical until enough gets collected. Make sure to have your metal recycled.