How scrap metal recycling is fighting against climate change

Climate change is one of the most important issues facing the world today. It’s caused by an increasing atmospheric concentration of the four greenhouse gases—carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and fluorinated gases. Carbon dioxide is the main culprit, accounting for 81% of greenhouse gas emissions.

Greenhouse gasses aren’t a problem in and of themselves. In fact, they play a vital part in making the earth habitable by letting the sun’s rays pass through to warm the Earth while at the same time preventing this warmth from escaping into space. However, the high levels of greenhouse gasses we’re seeing today cause the atmosphere to retain an excessive amount of heat. This has numerous detrimental effects, including an increased frequency of extreme weather events, the melting of polar ice caps and harmful levels of air pollution in cities. 

Recycling scrap metal plays an important role in combatting climate change. Here are three ways that this activity reduces the levels of greenhouse gases and protects our environment.

Conserving energy

The more scrap metal we recycle, the less we need to derive from virgin ores. While the process of mining and smelting ore releases large amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, the process of recycling scrap metal releases significantly less. The amount of energy saved by using recycled metals as opposed to ore is as high as 92% for aluminum, 90% for copper and 60% for steel.

Conserving resources

Ores are non-renewable resources that are gradually being depleted through mining. Fortunately, almost every kind of metal can be recycled indefinitely without losing its valuable properties. Our current levels of scrap metal recycling are already able to meet, for instance, 55% of the world’s steel needs and 40% of its copper needs.

Reducing landfill waste

Recycling facilities are always a better option than landfills. Metal that ends up in landfills not only could have been recycled, but it also further harms the environment in several ways. For instance, it increases the size of landfills. What’s more, metal in electronic devices causes toxic chemical leaching, a process through which toxic substances like cadmium, lead and mercury leach into the soil and risk ending up in the water we drink and the air we breathe.

Scrap metal recycling for businesses in Edmonton

Businesses in the Edmonton area who wish to reduce their carbon footprint—and receive some extra cash—can count on General Recycling Industries Ltd. For convenient bin services and competitive prices in St. Albert and Edmonton, contact us today!