Friday, December 16, 2016
As someone who is environmentally-minded don't let anyone every tell you that recycling is a waste of time or that it takes just as much energy to recycle as it does to produce the raw materials.
Even if it were just to reduce the amount of material in landfills and reduce the exploitation of natural resources recycling would be worth it, but the energy savings are also very real. Today let's look at metals.
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Wow! Look at the energy saved by recycling aluminum versus digging it out of the ground and refining it. It's no wonder recycled aluminum fetches such a high price per pound.
New metals made using recycled material <> Energy Savings
Zinc: 20% <> 60%
Lead: 74% <> 60%
Steel: 42% <> 62%
Copper: 32% <> 85%
Aluminum: 39% <> 95%
There are also other environmental benefits, for example, using recycled steel to make new steel enables reductions such as:
86% in air pollution
40% in water use
76% in water pollution.