Today marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Today marks the opportunity to call attention to the importance of recycling in reducing pollution and conserving our natural resources. Metal recycling is one of the primary examples of such essential conservation practices. Metals are valuable materials that can be recycled again and again without degrading their properties, however only 30% is currently recycled worldwide.
Greenhouse emissions are greatly reduced when recycling metals compared to mining raw ore. Mining raw ore requires the use of machines, fuel, manpower and more to produce a final product.
Here are some common metals and the amount of energy that is saved when we recycle them:
- 92% for Aluminum
- 90% for Copper
- 56% for Steel
By recycling one ton of steel we conserve 2,500 pounds of iron ore, 1,400 pounds of coal, and 120 pounds of limestone. Recycling one ton of aluminum conserves up to 8 tons of bauxite ore and 14-megawatt hours of electricity. These savings are just the tip of the iceberg that our Industry contributes to energy conservation.
Recycling plays a role In managing and combatting the current COVID-19 pandemic as recycled metal and other commodity‐grade materials feed critical manufacturing operations. These materials are then used to produce the rebar, wiring, tubing, transportation, packaging, and other key materials needed for everything from the construction of hospitals to the manufacture of new hospital beds, ventilators, and other essential supplies. Recycling is both essential to the health of the planet – and to the health of individuals.