Metal recycling is the most popular form of recycling. Steel and aluminum can be infinitely recycled. Scrap metal is ferrous metals (steel and iron) or nonferrous metals (tin, brass, copper, aluminum). Home appliances such as dishwasher, washing machines, stoves, and refrigerators are generally created from metal. Discarded appliances fit within 2 categories: refrigerants and non-refrigerants.
Four Stages of Metal Recycling
There are 4 stages in metal recycling: collection, processing (where metal is compacted), shredding, and selling to mini mills that produce steel. This recycling process requires 74 percent less energy than the use of virgin materials.
Useful tips for unwanted appliances:
1. When you purchase a new appliance, ask the delivery driver to take the old one with him/her. Companies either recycle the unit or properly dispose of it.
2. Ask a professional to take apart the discarded appliance and remove the recyclable parts to take to your local recycling center.
3. If the appliance is still functional, sell it on the Internet, donate to a charity or give it to a friend.
Benefits to Recycling Metal
Aluminum cans made their debut as beverage containers in 1965. Because of the aluminum can's ability to be recycled over and over again, it is the most valuable recyclable container today. Aluminum recycling provides community, environmental, and economic benefits.
Environmental advantages include saving precious natural resources, energy and money. It only takes 2 months for an aluminum can to be recycled into a new can and put back on the shelves ready for resale. In 2007, an impressive 54 billion cans were recycled, saving the energy of 15 million barrels of crude oil.
The economic benefits of recycling aluminum cans are plentiful. Each year, the aluminum industry buys over $800 million dollars worth of empty cans to be recycled. This money can go to non-profit and charity organizations. Many such groups recycle cans to earn money for their organizations. When cans are recycled curbside, the money from the aluminum industry goes toward community services. The aluminum industry has even teamed up with organizations like Habitat for Humanity, by allowing them to leave can drop-off boxes in several locations to raise money for housing individuals and families.
Aluminum foil can usually be recycled with your aluminum cans, but before doing that, it's always good to reuse it on other food items. Just wash it and let it dry with your dishes.
Metal recycling is essential to preserve our natural resources. You can help the environment by reusing aluminum foil and washing it before recycling (some cities won't take it if it's dirty), buying cans instead of plastic or glass beverage containers, and of course, recycling the cans that you do have.