Advantages & Disadvantages of Recycling Metal

Recycling is becoming progressively important to the industry and society to meet the goals of efficiently managing limited resources, cost reduction, and reduced landfill utilization. It is likely that you’ve heard of three R’s more time than you can recall. But have you ever asked yourself what they mean?

Well, they stand for ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ and is mostly used in reference to plastics, paper, cardboard, cans, and bottles. Many people fail to realize that even metals can be recycled. Are you surprised?

If yes, you are among millions of people across the world who know nothing about metal recycling. Just like any other material being recycled, metals recycling come with advantages and disadvantages, and we will examine them in this article.

Advantages of Recycling Metal

1. Economic benefits

Metal recycling offers support to an industry that creates employment and helps our local economy. Given that metals are valuable, many companies pay people and businesses for their used metals and you can find a recycling center phoenix arizona that purchases brass, non-ferrous metals, copper, and aluminum.


That way, recycling industry generates nearly $236bn every year and employs over one million workers across the U.S. According to other sources, recycling aluminum cans alone generate close to $800 million annually and this plays a vital role in economic growth.

2. Energy saving

Production of metals from raw materials requires a lot of energy for instance through ore drilling and metal refining. However, when metals are recycled, they save a substantial amount of energy.

For instance, recycling aluminum saves 92% of the energy that can be used to make new aluminum from virgin ore, and similarly, 90% for copper and 56% for steel is saved. To make it even better, recycling a single aluminum can save enough energy that can power a 60-watt light bulb for over 4hours.

3. Conserves natural resources

Recycling metals preserve natural resources. Instead of drilling deep to get new materials, many recycling firms are opting to recycle metals. This reduces water use, protects the natural landscapes, and protects wildlife because pre-mining conditions can disturb animals from their inhabiting areas.

4. Slow landfill growth

Metallic items take a long, long time to biodegrade and when we throw used metals, we fill landfills unnecessarily. However, recycling metals reduces scrap metal in landfills and provides more space for wastes such as food and non-recyclable items and when landfills are freed up, there will be less pollution in the environment.


This is where the three R’s apply, reduce, reuse, and recycle; it slows landfill growth and companies should be looking forward to recycling metals whenever possible.


· Collecting and sorting materials to recycle is energy and time consuming, and expensive

· You’ll find out that many recycled metals are impure

· Steel, aluminum and other metals must be manually separated from other recyclable materials like paper and plastic

· Requires more transportation needs because many trucks are needed to carry used metals

· More sorting factories and facilities are needed to be made, bought and constructed which can be costly

· Some metals particularly aluminum degrade after every reuse cycle and this means that that the final products may vary in quality

· Recycling facilities may have substandard working conditions thus increasing workers being exposed to toxins

Bottom line

Without a shadow of a doubt, there are so many benefits that come with metal recycling. Well, metals are important and make valuable products that we admire to have a look at; therefore, let’s encourage the reuse of metal as this will make metals available for future use. Instead of throwing metals away, it is important to embrace recycling as it will be good for human health, environment, and economy.