Metals are a nonrenewable resource which means that their supply will come to an end unless they are used sustainably. The process of recycling metal not only saves resources and reduces pollution but also prevents the destruction of natural habitats that takes place from mining new ore.
Scrap and metal recycling involves melting down scrap metal and reusing it in the manufacturing of new commodities. The best part is that metal does not lose any of its original properties during the recycling process therefore, it can be used indefinitely. The atomic structure of metal does not change after it is melted.
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There are two kinds of recycled metals, ferrous and nonferrous. Scrap metal that is made from steel or iron is called ferrous metal. It is acquired from the salvaging of used automobiles, steel beams, and railroad tracks. Scrap metal that is made from metals other than iron and steel are called nonferrous metals e.g. Aluminium from foil or cans. Even though ferrous scrap is recycled in greater quantities, it is more profitable for metal recycling companies to recycle non-ferrous scrap.
Recycling metal also has tremendous environmental benefits. There is a substantial amount of energy-saving and reduced CO2 emissions in the production methods using recycled materials. Since secondary raw materials are used instead of fresh natural resources a lot of energy and money that would otherwise be spent on the mining process is saved.
In fact, the recycling process of aluminum uses 95 % less energy and emits 95% less carbon dioxide than making fresh aluminum from bauxite ore. Studies carried out by steel recycling companies also revealed that recycling steel reduces CO2 emissions by 80%.