Why Should you Recycle Your Metals?

Metal is a material we virtually cannot live without in an industrial society. We need it for building, food preservation, and transportation, and it is a powerful tool in maintaining our sense of civilization. Often, we take its prevalence in our daily lives for granted, forgetting that we may see a day where it becomes scarce. Because of the limited supply of pure ore on our planet, recycling it is becoming a necessity. 

Steel, for example, is ubiquitous. We use it to make a variety of products that we use every day, like drink and food cans, and even parts of the vehicles we drive. In fact, about 25% of the material used for doors and hoods made for automobiles comes from recycled steel. Because the process of recycling metal takes less energy and resources than creating it from raw ore, recycled metals are ideal for cost-effective production, and are safer for the environment.

Even though the environmental benefits from recycling are (or, at least, should be) the only motivation we need to keep our Earth green, there’s another reward associated with recycling metal: cash.

Most scrap yards will take tin, aluminum, steel, and copper, and offer higher “scrap value” if sorted before entering the yard. Each metal gets sold to the yard for a set value per pound; for example, in Ontario, Canada, copper #3 is $2.45 a pound. If enough of a certain metal accumulates, the payday is lucrative, and some resourceful and knowledgeable people have made a living from scrapping regularly. With a simple internet search, it’s easy to find the price of scrap metal in your area, along with a list of what’s accepted and some rules and regulations the scrapyard may have.

Recycled scrap metal is precious to our economy, our sustainability, and our civilization. It’s important that we realize how many things we do, and use are derivative of these materials, and that our unwillingness to make use of the scraps will cost us in the long term.