In discussions of recycling, most people are concerned about what can be done with plastic. Rightfully so, as plastic can cause numerous environmental issues, but it's also important to look at what metal salvage and recycling can accomplish for the environment—and for your wallet. Below are a few benefits of metal recycling.
What Are the Environmental Benefits of Recycling Old Metal?
Reduced Demand for New Metal
When metals are thrown away and sent to landfills, they become completely removed from the supply of metal available for human use. But the demand for that metal hasn't changed. At their core, metal salvage and recycling projects help us maintain a higher supply of usable metal, which decreases the need for new metal from mines. By lowering the need for new mines, recycling old metals prevents the downsides of mining from occurring in the first place.
Reduced Emissions & Pollution
Creating new metals is an intensive undertaking. Not only do the base metals need to be extracted from the ground at massive mining sites, but they also need to be processed from their raw form into something usable. Mining produces massive amounts of carbon emissions to power the necessary heavy machinery, and environmental pollutants are often used at mining sites to make metals easier to extract. The metals processing stage then requires still more fuel- and electricity-use and more chemical treatment. This stage can also produce large amounts of wastewater.
Recycling metal is a much less resource-intensive process.
Less Habitat Destruction
Large swathes of land must be cleared to create dig sites for mining operations. This disrupts ecosystems and destroys unique habitats, displacing the local fauna and completely destroying local flora. The clearing process also often leads to topsoil erosion, making it difficult for new life to thrive near a mine for years after it closes.
What Metals & Items Can You Recycle?
Most metal salvage yards and recyclers will accept the metals common in daily use, such as steel, copper, aluminum, tin, and iron. You can find these metals in many household items, from soda cans to air conditioning units, old pipes, car parts and frames, and electrical wiring. Recyclers may also be able to process the rarer metals in batteries and electronic devices, but you should call in advance to be sure.
If you're looking to recycle metal for cash, Roadrunner Recycling can help. Located in San Marcos, TX, and serving Seguin and New Braunfels, this salvage yard and recycling facility pays competitive prices for your unwanted metals. They pride themselves on honest business and consistent service. Learn more about their recycling operation online, and ask for Josh or Willis when you call (512) 353-4511 to schedule a pickup.