From Trash to Treasure: Breathing New Life into Used Metal

Scrapheap of copper foil for recycling

Rising environmental concerns lead to an increasing need for people to reduce their carbon footprint. With so much waste being produced, organisations are coming up with ways to minimise the amount of rubbish going to landfills, with waste disposal and management becoming an industry of its own.

In the United Kingdom, the scrap metal industry is worth roughly billions of pounds each year, playing a significant part in the economy of the country. There are thousands of scrap yards in the UK that earn revenue through scrap metal, and it is estimated that half of all metal used in the manufacturing industry is recycled.

Why Recycle Scrap Metal

Recycling metal scraps from vehicles, appliances and equipment is beneficial, as it reduces the amount of waste produced. It also reduces the need for additional mining to obtain new products for manufacturing purposes. Reusing metal protects the environment, as there is less fuel expenditure. According to EU figures, they cut carbon dioxide emissions by 200 million tonnes each year. Recycling and reusing also lower air and water pollution.

The act of refining metal has developed over the years. Since scrap metals have a lower melting point than ore metals, they use less energy in the manufacturing process.

Technological advances in refining metal have also made scrap metal stronger and more durable. This increases the practicality of the metal, allowing users to create higher quality tools and heavy-duty materials.

How Scrap Metal is Repurposed

After recycling, scrap metals can be used for a variety of purposes, both in the home and at commercial properties.

  • Industrial and Manufacturing

Much of scrap metal goes into creating new items such as appliances and building materials. Some of the most common manufactured items that use a high concentration of scrap metal include ductwork, industrial containers and plumbing.

  • Packaging

canned soda packaging

Recycled aluminium and steel are usually reused as new food packaging. Most canned goods contained some percentage of recycled metal, and many are made from 100 per cent recycled materials.

  • Transportation

Scrap aluminium and iron are widely used in construction to create bridges and roads. They are also used to manufacture modes of transportation such as aircrafts and automobiles.

  • Interior Design

Industrial interior design experienced a surge in popularity because of its unique look and sustainability. Scrap metal is recycled into furnishing, fixtures, lighting and other parts of the home. Homeowners, interior designers and furniture manufacturers can get creative with the design: chairs out of car bonnets, hanging lamps out of pipes and the list goes on.

  • Artwork

With basic welding skills, artists can transform metal into a diverse range of artistic styles, from trinkets to life-sized figures. Scrap metal can be sourced from car and bike parts, pipes and broken electronics, and then turned into beautiful, decorative sculptures that can be displayed at residential and commercial properties.

Given how ever-present metal is in our daily lives, it’s sensible that people develop cost-effective, practical and innovative ways of reusing it. As the scrap metal industry continues to grow, there will be more uses for scrap metal in the future.

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