Recycling is crucial to the safe and economical disposal of solid waste, as well as to the conservation of our precious natural resources and the economic production of raw materials.
Without the recycling industry, the United States would be inundated with discarded appliances, automobiles and unwanted materials at a volume far exceeding landfill and dump site capacities.
Recycling scrap metals results in a significant energy savings. For example, recycling aluminum from scrap requires less than one-tenth the energy necessary to process bauxite and alumina, greatly reducing the carbon footprint of producing new material.
Approximately 40 percent of the copper used each year is from recycled scrap copper, processed at an energy savings of 87 percent. And roughly half of the lead used each year comes from recycled scrap, at an energy savings of more than 60 percent.
In addition to savings in energy and natural resources necessary to produce raw materials, recycling scrap metal bypasses the harmful environmental side effects associated with metal manufacturing. Recycling produces no environmentally harmful oxides prevalent during the initial chemical manufacturing of ore to metals.