Recycling is one of the actions that has the greatest impact on the environment when it comes to reducing the carbon footprint and the level of waste that is generated. Therefore, its implementation and popularization is spreading more and more frequently. In addition, within recycling in general, it must be taken into account that there is a particularly important type of recycling, which is that of metals. If you want to know the importance of recycling metals, keep reading AgroCorrn and we will tell you about it.
- Where are the metals obtained from?
- The importance of metal recycling
- How much do metals pollute?
Where are the metals obtained from?
Metals are one of the materials we use the most today. In fact, in addition to being present in practically all transport and architecture infrastructures, they are also present in our daily lives in the form of small objects that range, from telephony or packaging, to larger ones such as household appliances or cars.
All this use of metals of different types requires a very high production of metal , especially iron and aluminum , but also other less common metals such as zinc, cadmium or lead, to give a few examples. Obtaining these metals is carried out from mines which, in addition to being a considerably expensive process, is also highly polluting , since it destroys the environment in which the mines are located and entails the expenditure of a ton of natural resources, especially energy and water.
In the following article you can discover how mineral extraction affects the environment .
The importance of metal recycling
However, one of the great advantages that metals have is that they are relatively easy materials to recycle . For the most part, the recycling process is carried out by separating the metal from the rest of the materials present in waste and scrap. Next, it is smelted, where the slag will have to be separated, which will be the remains of other materials that have reached the smelting process together with the metal. Finally, the metal is cooled and placed in molds to take the desired shape, be it ingots, plates, or any other aspect with which the recycled metal is traded.
This process is especially important since, by recycling the metal, the costs of its production are reduced considerably . Bear in mind that obtaining metal from waste and scrap is considerably cheaper than mining. In this sense, it is a very significant reduction in economic cost, but, at the same time, a very significant environmental cost. By recycling metals, we avoid having to extract so much metal from the mines, thus reducing the impact of the mines considerably. In addition, it must also be taken into account that, by recycling metals instead of extracting them virgin, we are also reducing the environmental impact by reducing their transport, since, in general, metal recycling takes place in the same places where a large part of this metal will be consumed later. Finally, by recycling metals, we reduce the presence of waste and garbage which, in addition to being a problem when managing it, also constitutes one of the most polluting garbage that we can find.
How much do metals pollute?
One of the big problems with metal-generated waste is that it is highly polluting waste . Naturally, there are metals more dangerous than others. However, some of them are very common in our day to day, such as aluminum in containers, or many of the heavy metals present in computer or telephone equipment, as well as in many household appliances (cadmium, lead, mercury, arsenic , etc.) are highly polluting when released into the environment , as they are toxic and dangerous for living beings.
Due to this, the recycling of metals is not only important from the perspective of avoiding the pollution generated by mines or due to the economic and natural resource savings that it entails, but also when it comes to avoiding that these metals end up dispersed in the ecosystems, which would cause the death of hundreds of thousands of animals. In addition, in the event that these metals end up in contact with people, we would be talking about a real health problem , since they are metals that attack living organisms in many ways, especially in aspects related to the nervous, hormonal and immune systems . Therefore, recycling not only becomes an environmental protection activity, but also a job that guarantees health safety.
If you want to read more articles similar to Importance of metal recycling , we recommend that you enter our Recycling and waste management category .
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