According to research conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency, recycling scrap metals can be quite beneficial to the environment. Using recycled scrap metal in place of virgin iron ore can yield:
75% savings in energy
90% savings in raw materials used
86% reduction in air pollution
40% reduction in water use
76% reduction in water pollution
97% reduction in mining wastes
Every ton of new steel made from scrap steel saves:
1,115 kg of iron ore
625 kg of coal
53 kg of limestone
Energy savings from other metals include:
Aluminium savings of 95% energy
Copper savings of 85% energy
Lead savings of 65% energy
Zinc savings of 60% energy
Metal recycling industry
The metal recycling industry encompasses a wide range of metals. The more frequently recycled metals are scrap steel, iron (ISS), lead, aluminium, copper, stainless steel and zinc. There are two main categories of metals: ferrous and non-ferrous. Metals which contain iron in them are known as Ferrous where metals without iron are non-ferrous.
Common non-ferrous metals are copper, brass, aluminum, zinc, magnesium, tin, nickel, and lead.
Non-ferrous metals also include precious and exotic metals.
Precious metals are metals with a high market value in any form, such as gold, silver, and platinum group metals.
Exotic metals contain rare elements such as cobalt, mercury, titanium, tungsten, arsenic, beryllium, bismuth, cerium, cadmium, niobium, indium, gallium, germanium, lithium, selenium, tantalum, tellurium, vanadium, and zirconium. Some types of metals are radioactive. These may be “naturally-occurring” or may be formed as by-products of nuclear reactions. Metals that have been exposed to radioactive sources may also become radioactive in settings such as medical environments, research laboratories, or nuclear power