How Using Recycled Metals Saves America Energy

How Using Recycled Metals Saves America Energy

Every time we use newly mined metals to make products, we expend an enormous amount of energy to extract and refine those raw materials into something usable. When we use recycled scrap metal, however, the story is very different. Here is a quick look at how using recycled metals can help us cut back on our energy usage and conserve our natural resources.

Steel. Steel is one of the most widely used metals in the world; we can find recyclable steel in everything from old cars to demolished buildings to broken household appliances. When we use recycled steel rather than newly produced steel, we save up to 56 percent of the energy we would have expended otherwise. We also conserve the resources that are used to make steel: iron, coal, and limestone.

Aluminum. Recycling aluminum is a simple process that requires much less energy than manufacturing new aluminum products; according to the EPA, it takes less than 5 percent of the energy required to make a single aluminum soda can from raw materials to produce a recycled aluminum can. Recycling aluminum can result in energy savings of as much as 92 percent, as well as conserving 8 tons of bauxite ore for every ton of aluminum we would have needed to produce.

Copper. While we tend to associate copper with pennies—which are now largely made of zinc—it is also widely used in electric wiring, electronic devices, and home heating and air conditioning systems. We can slash our energy usage by as much as 90 percent by recycling copper rather than manufacturing with newly mined copper. In fact, about one-third of all copper used today is recycled metal.

With a total of 75 combined years working with metal, Tucson Iron and Metal is Tucson’s leading full-service metal recycling company. Founded in 1986, we provide 24-hour pickup and delivery of scrap metal for homes and businesses. If you have any questions about our services, feel free to call us today at 520-884-1554.