Environmental Protection

Almost every metal is recyclable, yet the scrap metal doesn

Which is Better, Extracting Metal or Recycling Scrap Metal?

Recycling metal or salvaging scrap metal and selling to the recyclers can be a great income source. Recycling is less expensive than extracting metal, needs less energy, and helps in saving fuel.

Metal is all around us, whether you realize it or not. The electronic gadgets, batteries, buildings, furniture, transportation, almost everything around you consists of metals. They are even used by sculptors and artists for their art pieces.

To make all these metal products, we need raw metal which is obtained either from extracting or metal recycling. Let's learn more about them.

Extracting Raw Metals
After the metal is extracted from the soil, it is refined, processed, and transported to several manufacturers. There, the processed metal will undergo further processes and turned into different products. While these products are useful, the processes required to produce them end up doing a lot of damage to the environment. In order to minimize these damages, you must recycle metals. Let us look at some advantages of extracting raw material as compared to recycling scrap material.

Advantages of Metal Extracting:
1. Raw metal is extremely valuable and helps in bringing in a lot of revenue — for the company as well as the country. It can be exported and sold to several countries that have high metal consumption, such as China or the United States.

2. It helps in creating a lot of jobs for people. Extracting, processing, refining, and transporting metal requires several people on the payroll. Moreover, there will be an increase in facilities such as hospitals and transportation near the mines.3. When companies deal with metal, they have to pay taxes, which further helps in improving the economy of the local community as well as the government.

Disadvantages of Metal Extracting:
1. The major disadvantage is that it harms the environment. It causes soil, air, water, and noise pollution, which will harm the community.

2. Extraction of metal means depleting natural resources of the planet. Producing products with extracted metal requires other natural resources, such as fuel, wood, etc., thus putting additional stress on non-renewable sources of energy.

Recycling of Metal Scrap
Instead of chucking out the metal products you no longer need, you can recycle them. Almost every metal is recyclable, yet the scrap metal doesn't get recycled. Recycling doesn't just have environmental benefits but even economical ones.

Advantages of Metal Recycling:
1. The practice of metal recycling is extremely earth friendly. Since you can reuse the metal, you won't have to extract more metal from the earth.

2. Fewer resources will be used for creating products from the scrap metal because it is already refined and processed.

3. It will reduce waste and accumulation in landfills, which is a major advantage because metals take a long time to break down naturally. The risk of polluting the soil and water also goes down tremendously.

4. Recycling metal or salvaging scrap metal and selling to the recyclers can be a great income source. In fact, metals such as copper wire and gold plating are valuable, and recycling them will bring you good money. Though metals such as steel and iron won't bring much, when salvaged in large quantities (such as through the demolition of vehicles), they can fetch you a good amount.

5. Recycling is less expensive as compared to extracting metal. It needs less energy, is more economical, and helps in saving fuel.

Even though there are a few disadvantages, the advantages of recycling outweigh the cons.

Disadvantages of Metal Recycling:
1. Recycling creates fewer jobs as compared to extracting metals.

2. An extensive network of factories, trucks, and sorting facilities are required to recycle metal. This may increase the carbon footprint of your company.

Recycling benefits the community and even the nation. This is why it should be encouraged on an individual as well as business level.

Erich Lawson is passionate about saving environment by effective recycling. He has written a wide array of articles on how modern recycling equipment can be used by industries to reduce monthly garbage bills and increase recycling revenue. You can learn more about environment savings techniques by visiting the Northern California Compactors, Inc. blog. (Northern California Compactors, Inc., P.O. Box 5489, Pleasanton, CA 94566, 800-464-3095)

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