This Earth Day: Importance of Metal Recycling

With Earth Day celebrated on April 22, it is a perfect time of year to discuss the importance of metal recycling to the environment. Many people leave their winter confinements to clean garages and plant gardens. We should all know that metal recycling should also be a big part of your Earth Day cleanup.

A Little History of Earth Day

Earth Day is held on April 22 in the US and was started by Gaylord Nelson, a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, in 1970. After a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, CA, in 1969, Nelson was inspired and rallied the student anti-war movement to educate the public about air and water pollution. It would become a national political agenda, and he gathered over 85 staff members to promote events nationwide.

After starting the movement on April 22, over 20 million Americans and thousands of colleges and universities took to the streets and protested against the deterioration of the environment. It was unique because the movement brought Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, city folk and farmers, and other oppositions together for one cause. A cleaner earth. Earth Day led to the creation of the US EPA and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. (Source:

How Metal Recycling Affects the Earth

Teach recycling to your children

Scrap metal recycling has a significant impact on the environment. With scrapping, many metals skip the landfill and are sent to be processed directly into new materials, making the recycling process much faster. For example, aluminum cans can be recycled, and the materials can be returned to the shelf within 60 days.

Many common materials like steel, copper, and iron are mined for their raw materials throughout the world to produce more products like I-beams, plumbing pipes, and more. If more people take the time to recycle their metals, there would be less of a need to use raw materials. Also, recycling materials that are already in use can decrease the pollution needed to produce them from raw ore.

By The Numbers

Greenhouse emissions are significantly reduced when recycling scrap metal compared to raw ore. The amount of energy includes the machines, their fuel, manpower, and more that have to be used to produce a final product. Below are some common metals and the energy that is saved when recycling them:

  • 92% for Aluminum
  • 90% for Copper
  • 56% for Steel

These are some of the most common metals that everyday scrappers come across. So, it shows how essential scrappers and scrap metal recycling are to the earth and the environment. Recycling one ton of steel alone conserves 2,500 pounds of iron ore, 1,400 pounds of coal, and 120 pounds of limestone. Recycling a ton of aluminum conserves up to 8 tons of bauxite ore and 14 megawatt hours of electricity. (Source:

At the end of the day, metal recycling is just as crucial to Earth Day and the environment as picking up trash on a highway or planting a tree on Arbor Day. Keep doing your job as a scrapper, and continue to find the right place to sell your scrap metal and recycle it the right way.