Making products from recycled metals uses less energy, reduces carbon emissions and uses less water compared with using raw materials.
A wide range of metals including aluminium, copper, steel and iron can be recycled. Making products from recycled metals uses less energy, reduces carbon emissions and uses less water compared with using raw materials. Commercial recyclers and scrap metal yards will buy scrap metal at the market price, making this a valuable resource to recycle. Metals such as lead and mercury are classified as hazardous materials and must be disposed of through approved facilities. If placed in landfill, heavy metals can leach and contaminate the soil and water system.
Almost two out of every three aluminium cans in Australia are recycled, with huge benefits to the environment and community. Aluminium doesn't degrade so it can be recycled indefinitely.
Aluminium is a valuable resource which can be recycled indefinitely with no waste. One tonne of recycled scrap aluminium will make one tonne of new aluminium.
Recycling or reconditioning chemical drums eliminates these large items form the waste stream and removes them from sites where they may cause contamination or safety issues.
Copper can be recycled indefinitely as it does not degrade when processed. Recycling scrap copper can reduce emissions and energy output compared to production from virgin materials as well as protect our natural resources.
Corrugated iron is now made from steel, which is one of the worlds most recycled metals. Recycled steel is of the same quality as the virgin metal and recycling steel uses less energy and water compared to production from raw iron ore.
Gas cylinders may be refilled or recycled as scrap metal. Generally made from steel, recycling reduces the energy required to produce steel products from raw materials. Gas cylinders should not be placed in landfill where they may explode or leak toxic gas.
Electrical cables contain valuable metals such as copper and aluminium. These metals don't degrade and can be recycled indefinitely.
Gas bottles may be refilled or recycled as scrap metal. Generally made from steel, recycling reduces the energy required to produce steel products from raw materials. Gas bottles should not be placed in landfill where they may explode or leak toxic gas.
Recycling ferrous metals, such as scrap iron and steel, can save up to 75 percent of the energy needed to make products from raw materials.
Lead is classified as a hazardous waste and is highly toxic to most species. Lead can be effectively recycled for reuse in new lead based products, diverting it from landfill and using less energy than refining primary ore.
Mercury can be a potent neurotoxin which can affect human and animal health. When mercury containing products go to landfill, they can contaminate the groundwater and release toxic compounds. Instead, we should recover mercury for use in new products.
Metals used in smaller quantities such as gold, nickel and zinc can be recycled. This saves energy compared to the mining, extracting and processing of raw minerals and ores needed to produce new metals. Recycled metal is of comparable quality to the original product.
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