Every year more than a billion ton of garbage is generated just in the U.S. Out of which, the daily household kitchen garbage makes up less than 1% of the total garbage generated. They are mostly renewable resources like plastic, metal, rubber, cardboard and newsprint. They are materials that can easily be recycled and reused.
We all are already aware of the scarcity of these materials as they are available only infinite amount. Out of them, metals are the one that are very precious and cannot be manufactured by man. They are found in nature and takes millions of years to form or deteriorate. So instead of just wasting them, there is an immediate need to find ways to reuse and recycle them.
This article we will focus on the importance of reusing and recycling metals. It will also guide you, on how you can contribute your part to make our environment safer and healthier, for the generations to come.
More than a Billion ton of metal is wasted every year. It is either discarded as garbage or just dumped into the bed of ocean or in landfills to deteriorate via the natural process. As they do not deteriorate rapidly, they remain stagnant there and pollute the environment. Not just it, while deteriorating they release harmful traces of metal as well making the surrounding toxic. Even a small amount of traces of metals like copper, lead, and barium can destroy crops or if it gets mixed with ground water can cause fatal diseases to all those who consume it.
These materials are very reactive and are not found alone beneath the crust of the Earth. From there, it needs to be mined out. It takes a lot of energy and manpower, to refine these metals after extraction. Approximately 20% more energy is required to make a soda can from extracted Aluminium compared to making the can from recycled Aluminium.
The instruments that are made of recycled metal are similar to those formed by extracted metal in terms of mass, structural integrity and durability. According to a recent study conducted in San Diego, if 1 pound of metal is recycled then it saves 1.25 pound of extracted ore of the same metal.
You are very well aware of the growing need for employment for the youth of our great nation. Most of the companies in our country have their manufacturing plants in the Third World countries to reduce their manufacturing costs. But the benefit of metal recycling and reusing is not limited to the environment only. According to the famous report published by CNN on youth unemployment and sustainable development, it clearly states that more than 1.5 million people are currently employed worldwide in various recycling operations. However, it also adds that the actual number might be numerous times than the official figures.
So, if this opportunity is taken up seriously and a radical thought on it is given by the government than it can save billions regarding social security and unemployment wage. Also, recycling metals generate million in taxes by installing metal recycling operations. Until then, there are numerous private sector metal recycling plants. They have an annual business of $30 billion in scrap metal exports which can go up to $160 billion business annually.
Now that you are aware of the importance of metal recycling, and using products made of recycled metal. Let us talk about what can you do on an individual level.