A Brief Look at the History of Recycling

A Brief Look at the History of Recycling

Although recycling may seem like a modern concept, it’s actually be around for thousands of years. There was a time when virtually everyone practiced recycling in some form, and not necessarily out of an urge to help the environment. The recent “green movement” in the United States has certainly made the environmental impact of recycling front and center, but the earliest forms of recycling were mainly driven by the need to make do with what one had. Even today there are different motivations for recycling, like turning old scrap metal into cold, hard cash. Take a look at the history of recycling to better understand the culture behind one of the world’s oldest activities.

Ancient Recycling

Archaeologists have discovered evidence of recycling in ancient civilizations dating back thousands of years. For example, evidence indicates that glass from the imperial Byzantine era was recycling in the ancient city of Sagalassos and that early Romans recycled bronze coins into statues. There are also countless examples of metals being recycled and turned into weapons during wartimes.

Pre-Industrial Age and Post Industrial Decline

Before the industrial age made it possible to produce goods quickly and cheaply, it was generally common practice to recycle used items instead of buying new ones. This was especially true of scrap metal since virgin metals were still very difficult to extract and refine. After the industrial age revolutionized much of the modern world, recycling became less important since it was no longer prohibitive to buy new goods or raw materials.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Recycling started to become a mainstream concern again during the 1960s and 1970s in America. The environmental movement resulted in greater public awareness about the importance of recycling, which itself became memorialized with the introduction of the now famous universal symbol for recycling. The Mobius strip triangle was designed by Gary Anderson in the late 1960s and would later become famous with the “Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle” campaign.


Recycling for Cash

In today’s economic climate, people are looking for fast and easy ways to turn a profit. One of the easiest ways is by recycling scrap metal. Tucson Iron and Metal pays top dollar for all kinds of scrap metal, and our metal recycling facility sells recovered metal at amazing prices. If you have any questions about scrap metal recycling in Tucson, call us at (520) 884-1554.