Anytime a single material is produced in massive amounts, it has the potential to become an environmental and economic drain. And scrap metal is something we produce a lot of in the United States. How much? About 150 million metric tons every year, with about 85 million of those tons being iron and steel. Other metals that produce large amounts of scrap include aluminum, copper, stainless steel, lead, and zinc.
All that scrap metal is essentially lost product, and lost profits, that will just sit around and wreak havoc on the environment. Unless it is recycled.
And recycling scrap metal has become a major trend. For businesses, it allows them to profit from what used to be considered garbage, and for the environment, it removes a massive amount of garbage that can prove hazardous. Let’s take a look at some of the specific benefits below.
Companies Can Sell Their Scrap Metal
Scrap metal used to be nothing more than lost profit. Companies paid for the metal they needed, but only used a portion of it, having to throw the scrap away. Now, they can turn their trash into profit by selling their scrap metal to those who want to recycle it and use it for new purposes.
Other Companies Can Produce New Items More Cheaply
The companies who purchase scrap metal for recycling can then use this cheaper metal to reduce their costs. This nets them larger profits while also making it possible to offer their goods at a lower cost to consumers. And when consumers have more money to spend, they usually do, leading to benefits to the economy at large.
Scrap Metal Recycling Is a Big Business
While recycling scrap metal benefits the companies selling and purchasing the scraps, it also creates an entire industry around recycling the metal. As of 2011, more than 450,000 jobs were sustained by the scrap metal recycling industry, and these numbers have continued to rise over the passing years.
It Also Generates Major Revenue
How much? More than 90 billion annually. That is an incredible amount of money being put into our economy, and without it, we would suffer a major blow. For some states, scrap metal recycling makes up 14 billion of their annual revenue, which means it is a lifeline for their survival.
It Supports International Trade by Increasing US Exports
When talking about the state of the US economy, one of the most common points made is that we no longer export much, but we import a lot. However, scrap metal and items made from recycled scrap metal are actually a major export for the US. The US exports about 14.5 billion dollars of scrap metals and products made from them.
Keeping Scrap Metal in Circulation Saves the Environment
Every year the United States is able to recycle more than 120 million metric tons of scrap metal, which is the majority of the 150 million tons it produces. That takes a major burden off of the environment. Scrap metal do not simply sit and do nothing; instead, they leach dangerous chemicals into the surrounding environment. Recycling them creates a healthier earth for us all.
And Ecology Can Help
If you have scrap metal that needs to be recycled, or other large recycling hauls, we are happy to help. Simply give us a call and we will arrange for the pickup and disposal of, or transfer to, the recycling center of your choosing. Help the environment and the economy with Ecology.