Recycling is processing of used materials into new products, which can be used again. For example, we use recycled paper, recycled plastic, recycled glass and many more. Recycling helps us in many ways - conserves limited and exhaustible resources, saves energy, is environmental friendly, creates jobs and helps in proper waste disposal. There are many other benefits too and so we recycle food scrapes, leather, rubber, wood in addition to those mentioned above. Metal scrap is also added to this long list as the resources of metals are depleting at an alarming rate. Recycle scrap metal constitutes about 8% of the total materials recycled.
Due to the ever-increasing demands of the human race and the ever decreasing sources of metals, recycling has become of prime importance. Not only this, but the environmental pollution, the greenhouse effect and the effects of carbon footprint has necessitated that we concentrate on the recycling of different products.
Unlike recycled paper and recycled glass, recycled metal can be put to indefinite use. Metal can be recycled again and again as it does not lose its strength or material compound. This makes metal recycling very beneficial. The process of metals recycling is different from plastic recycling; continue reading the process of recycling scrap metal.
Step One: Collection
Scrap metal is collected from the households as well as from the different industries. It is then sent to the sorting agents.
Step Two: Sorting
The metals are sorted based on their type and composition. Metals that are similar in composition are packed together and sent to the recycling centers.
Step Three: Inspection
Before these metals are melted, an inspection is conducted to see if the metals that are similar in composition are kept together.
Step Four: Melting
The metals are, later, heated in smelters. Smelters are devices which melt big chunks of metals at very high temperatures. Each metal or similar metals have different smelters because of their different melting points.
Step Five: Cooling
Once the metals melt fully, they are molded into small bars and are allowed to cool down before they are reused. These small bars are called ingots.
The metal recycling plant sells these metal bars to different industries and manufacturers, at a price, who use it to make different materials from them. The scrap metal prices will depend upon the purity, quantity, the market conditions and the demand for the material. You buy products like soda cans, use them and throw them in the garbage, from where it goes through the same process. Many entrepreneurs have started their own recycling business after realizing the importance of recycling material and the never-ending source of scrap metal. Recycle scrap metal is encouraged by the government also in order to reduce the environmental problems.
Steel is derived from iron ore. About 98% of the iron ore is used in making of steel because we use a lot of steel in our day-to-day life. It is the most widely used, and also the most widely recycled metal. Steel is recycled from appliances, construction materials, automobiles and from soda cans. The sources of scrap iron are demolished steel structures, railroad cars and tracks and old obsolete machines. Recycled steel is derived from the recycled iron and the process is much simpler and cheaper than extracting steel from iron ores. Scrap steel is also helpful in reducing air pollution and water pollution and is also an energy saver. Recycled steel is used to make stainless steel utensils, cars, bridges, construction materials, soda cans, etc. According to scientists, 3000 pounds of iron ore is saved when 1 ton of steel is recycled.
There is a lot of demand for copper and the natural mineral is exhausting rapidly. It is thus, necessary to recycle copper and use it to satisfy the ever-increasing demand. Usually, recycled copper is impure and is refined into a grade 'A' quality before it is used to make beautiful articles.
We can conclude from the above that recycling has its benefits. It helps us to reduce the environmental issues and save our natural resources. Next time you see a scrap metal, be sure to dispose it properly so that it can be recycled. Encourage use of recycle scrap metal. Remember that using recycled materials does not harm your health.