When I think back to school days, recycling meant the crushing of the collected drinks cans at the end of the school year to send off for recycling. There was of course a local ‘bottle (and can!) bank’, but the annual event of can crushing on the playground was one not to be missed. Metals recycling at home is one of the easiest things to do, wash it out and place it in the recycling bin, the giant magnets at the MRF do the rest. Did you know though that many local recycling services include aerosols?
Due to its manufacturing process, recycling metals saves an enormous amount of energy, thinking back to mining and the sheer volume of material needed to recover a small amount of resource, I’m sure you can appreciate that shredding, melting and reprocessing metals in the UK is far more efficient that the mined resource.
As recycled metals do not have the same hurdles as recycled plastics in their reuse, there is a very well established metals recycling industry in the UK which greatly contributes to the economy.
Metals recycling is much more than just the tin cans you throw away, think about the amount of metal in your house, from cutlery to paper clips to the family car, metals are everywhere and their recycling should not be limited to cans. Ever wondered what you are supposed to do with your old appliances and other metals once you have finished with them? Check out the recycling facilities in your local area – usually your county council’s website is the best place to look to see where and when you can dispose of the many and various types of metal in our day to day lives. Don’t contribute to the 1 million tonnes of waste electronic and electrical goods that are landfilled every year.
Of course there has to be a downside, and the downside to metals recycling is theft. Ever been delayed when getting on a train because parts of the points have been stolen? Ever heard of memorial plaques and statues being stolen? This is because scrap metals can fetch a good price so some people will try this tact of stealing metals and selling it on to try and make quick cash. The British Metals Recycling Association takes thefts seriously and information shares to try and ensure the safe return of stolen metals.