Recycling Metals / Why Bother?
The usefulness of metals like steel, copper, and aluminum was discovered thousands of years ago. Their properties and characteristics like strength, durability, malleability, and conductivity are of primary importance in a wide range of products today.
From fasteners, jewelry (see the pendant in the picture to the left made from recycled metal and plastic), cutting tools, structural elements of our biggest buildings and infrastructure to transportation and electronics metals are essential in the manufacture of these items.
– However, metals are precious natural resources of the Earth.
Metal deposits are non-renewable resources that will run out if exploited at the present rate.
The importance of recycling the metal that is part of the municipal waste stream cannot be emphasized enough.
Metals can be recycled without losing any of their important properties. Inefficient recovery of metals from industrial and consumer waste increases the pressure on the non-renewable resources of the Earth from which they are extracted.
The dumping of metal also has a large impact on the environment because of the dispersal of metallic particles in the ecosystem. Recycling and recovering metals from the waste stream is vital in the protection of valuable resources and of the environment.