Recycling Recovery and Salvage Services

Recycle Everything…Including the Kitchen Sink

Posted on September 22, 2011 · Posted in PK Metals Blog

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The next time you drive by a demolition site, ask yourself one question: Where does all of this stuff go?  Chances are everything that you see (including the kitchen sink) can be recycled and distributed in an open marketplace. The copper piping, electrical wiring, and steel can be recycled, and has value. As commodity prices rise, the demand for recycled metals increases as well. In today’s economy, recycling scrap metal can have a positive impact on your bottom line and the environment.

In the scrap metal recycling industry, there are essentially two types of metals: ferrous and nonferrous. The main difference between the two is that nonferrous metals do not contain iron.

Nonferrous metals include copper, lead, tin, nickel, etc. Nonferrous metals do not lose their composition in the recycling process. According to the Institute of Scrap Metal Recycling Industries, the value of the nonferrous metal scrap industry in the United States jumped to nearly $77 billion in 2010. Furthermore, the United States exported more than $16.7 billion worth of nonferrous metals in 2010.

Ferrous metals contain iron, and steel is the most recycled material in the world.  Every day Americans use enough steel to construct a piperunning from Los Angeles to New York… and back. According to ISRI,the U.S. scrap industry recycled more than 54 million metric tons of ferrous metal in 2010. Ferrous metals can be recovered from automobiles, steel structures, household appliances, railroad tracks, ships, farm equipment, etc. By using ferrous scrap, Co2 emissions can be reduced by 50%.

It important to understand how the materials are being handled throughout the demolition process. Metal costs money to move. However, this cost can be offset by hiring a scrap metal recycling company to take away the scrap. In addition, scrap metal recycling companies may offer payment for these materials. Along with the positive impact for the environment, this process ensures that all parties involved benefit from the transaction. The energy savings that can be achieved by recycling scrap metal is undeniable.

By breaking down the metals into two categories, it is clear to see how a demolition site is a great setting to understand how this process works. The scrap metal that is being hauled away to a recycling facility will one day be ready to be disturbed back into the world as an environmentally friendly building material. Using recycled materials can increase a building’s “green” credentials. As this series continues on Forbes, it is my goal to educate readers on how their business can take advantage of the exciting new technology that the scrap metal recycling industry has to offer.