The environmental benefits of recycling scrap metal
In 2017-2018 alone Victoria diverted over 1.5 million tonnes of metal from landfill through metal recycling. Recycling metal means there is less waste going into our tips and landfills. Plus the process of recycling also removes toxic chemicals from our ecosystem, impacts greenhouse gas emissions that impact climate change, protects the planet and contributes to a new and more sustainable economy.
Fortunately, recycling metals has become even easier as technology and extraction processes continue to evolve. As the processes evolve so too does the industry, giving you the opportunity to responsibly dispose of metal wastes, protect the environment and receive payment in the process.
When we talk about emissions in relation to metal waste it’s important to understand there are multiple types of harmful emissions that impact our environment. One of the most significant to climate change is the huge amount of carbon dioxide emissions produced through the process of extracting metals, processing, manufacturing and transporting of new metals.
While recycling metals still requires processing it drastically reduces the amount of carbon dioxide emissions produced through virgin metal processing.
Avoid toxic chemical runoff
Metals that are sent to landfill are often coated in toxic chemicals including paint, and some metals themselves are toxic to the land. When these metals are sent to landfills the gradual erosion of the metals, particularly ferrous metals, contaminates the soil and ground runoff, which in turn can poison water sources and enter the food chain.
By recycling metals through licensed processing services your metals go through a thorough decontamination process in which harmful chemicals are treated responsibly and disposed of safely. Plus the recycling process in itself reduces the volume of metals entering landfills.
Protects natural resources
In general metals are non-renewable resources meaning there is a finite amount of natural metals in the earth. Continuous extraction and mining of metals deplete the earth’s natural resources. Recycling metals has dramatically slowed down the rate of raw metal extraction and is helping to protect our natural resources.
Conserves natural habitats
Mining for metals is an extremely invasive and destructive process. Huge areas of natural forestation and land areas are cleared for mining with huge amounts of soil excavated. This process can destabilize the ground and soil, and destroys the natural habitat for animals and full ecosystems. The process of mining can also have serious impacts on waterways as runoffs and contaminants from mining sites enter the soil and water streams.
The metal recycling industry has greatly reduced the number and size of new mines, helping to protect natural habitats, ecosystems and wildlife.
Builds the circular economy
The circular economy concept is where everything already in existence can be reused, resold or recycled, with the end goal of creating sustainable economic growth. In the case of metals, recycling helps create a circular economy in which no new raw metals are extracted from the ground, and instead, existing metals are traded, processed and recycled into new items. By putting a value on scrap metal businesses and individuals can trade their existing metal for money, thus fueling the development of a circular economy.