If you’ve been following the news, you would have read about the UK’s 70% recycling target. What you may not have considered is how scrap metal contributes to that target. Scrap metal is not only created in the production process, but left behind whenever you throw out unwanted or “broken” consumer goods. But why recycle scrap metal in the first place?

Recycling Saves Energy

Many consumer goods have metal components, and increased demand means more are being made than ever before. Even more significant is the amount of metal used in the production of something as simple as the cans in your local supermarket. Producing metal products from virgin ore takes a lot of energy and creates a lot of greenhouse gas emissions. However, recycling even one tonne of steel reduces emissions by 86%, and recycling one kilogram of aluminium saves enough energy to power your TV for three days.

Recycling Protects Landfills

Landfills cover 280 square kilometres of the UK. England alone generates approximately 177 million tonnes of waste a year. Recycling scrap metal reduces waste and stops the environmental risks associated with the leakage of toxic metals such as lead. Scrap metal is non-biodegradable, meaning if it is sent to a landfill, it will stay there forever.

Recycling Creates Jobs

It’s estimated that, if the UK reaches it’s 70% recycling target, approximately 38,000 new jobs will be created. Scrap metal recycling is one of the most labour intensive areas of the recycling industry, and this translates into jobs on the ground. In a world where jobs are hard to find, it’s great to know you’ll be doing your bit to help people.

Recycling Stops Metal Theft

While banning cash transactions for scrap metal has significantly reduced scrap metal theft, the problem still exists. While you may associate scrap metal theft with tearing up railway lines or stealing church roofs, even leaving your old fridge in the open can make it a target for petty thieves. The Government and scrap metal recycling industries are committed to stopping scrap metal theft. Recycling your scrap metal will help.

Recycling Makes You Money

One personal bonus from scrap metal recycling is the money it can generate. While metal prices fluctuate, it’s nice to know you can generate some income by disposing of your items thoughtfully. Scrap metal will always be in high demand so, before simply throwing something out, call around and see how much you can get for it.

Recycling Supports Charities

Your scrap metal can truly benefit others, as numerous charities also function as scrap metal recyclers. Many of these charities will pick up your scrap metal and donate the funds to those who need it. Alternatively, you can always donate your scrap metal proceeds directly to the charity of your choice.

Whether your focus is helping the environment, supporting the British economy, helping others, or making some spare cash, it’s great to know that something as simple as scrap metal can create so many benefits.

Image credit: Free Digital Photos.

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