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The Benefits of Recycling Scrap Metal

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

While you’re probably aware of the existence of a large-scale global scrap metal recycling industry, you might be surprised by its size and scope. These days, a significant amount of the metal that ends up in finished products like appliances and structural steel is recycled or “recovered.” Moreover, scrap metal recycling is booming. This brave new world has some obvious and not-so-obvious benefits for the economy, the environment and the average consumer.

Earth-Friendly Practices

By and large, scrap metal recycling is less energy-intensive and more efficient than extracting and refining raw metals through traditional mining processes. Mining produces a number of environmental hazards, including poisonous runoff, groundwater pollution, habitat destruction and unstable geological conditions. What’s more, most types of mining require large inputs of fossil fuels.

Recycling scrap metal requires fossil fuel inputs as well. However, it’s generally regarded as less energy-intensive than mining. It also doesn’t contribute to groundwater pollution or create physical scars on the environment that can take hundreds of years to heal. After all, recycling plants don’t require massive open-pit mines to perform their work.

Waste Reduction, Space Production

Scrap metal recycling frees up landfill space for true junk like discarded food matter and non-recyclable plastics. Since many recyclable metal products are quite bulky, continued growth in the scrap metal recycling rate is likely to reduce the need for unsightly, space-consuming new landfills near our population centers. By keeping junkyards from overflowing, scrap metal recycling also reduces smaller-scale eyesores within our neighborhoods and encourages more productive land uses.

Tangible Economic Benefits

The recycling business is fairly labor-intensive, and many independent studies have shown that it contributes tens of billions of dollars to the country’s gross domestic product. In 2011, a seminal study by the Institute for Scrap Metal Recycling found that nearly 500,000 jobs had been created by the industry. Total federal, state and local tax receipts from the activities of scrap metal recycling outfits added up to more than $10 billion. Across all 50 states, the industry generated about $90 billion in economic activity.

It’s important to note that recycling jobs require high levels of skill and training. While wages within the industry vary by employer and location, typical scrap metal recycling jobs in high-wage states like New York often pay far more than the national median income.

Benefits for Consumers and End-Users

Recycling scrap metal has plenty of assorted benefits for consumers and businesses as well. For starters, scrap metal has a substantial cost that fluctuates in response to market forces like supply and demand. If you’ve ever sold an old car to your local wholesaler for “parts,” the amount that you were paid was based in large part on the value of the metal in your vehicle. Payments for old vehicles provide down-on-their-luck consumers with valuable infusions of liquidity during tough times.

Scrap metal is also used to produce plenty of new products that don’t appear to be recycled in any fashion. From smartphones and televisions to new cars and buildings, recycled scrap metal winds up in plenty of unexpected places.

Think Before You Toss

With so many clear benefits, it’s no wonder that scrap metal recycling has taken off in a big way. Whether you care about doing your part to minimize your environmental impact or simply want to make a few extra dollars, you can surely find a reason or two to recycle your old batteries, appliances and vehicles. Since scrap metal recycling isn’t going anywhere, it’s time to embrace it.

Whirlwind Steel manufactures metal buildings and components. They specialize in metal buildings for government institutions that are economically feasible and support future expansion.

New Search Features in the Works for RFC

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

New Charity Search Options and Clouds coming soon to the RFC website!

Recycling to Help Man’s Best Friend and Mother Earth

Friday, April 30th, 2010

The strong bond between animals and the environment is undeniable, but is often disregarded when it comes to keeping our land and water pollution-free. One cell phone alone, if thrown away, can pollute 40,000 gallons of ground water, which in turn affects the nearby wildlife. While the mission of Friends For the Dearborn Animal Shelter is to provide loving care and sanctuary to animals that are neglected, Recycling for Charities hopes to help in a similar way by making sure e-waste stays out of landfills and in turn keeping ground water clean for wildlife.

Last year alone the shelter took in over 2,500 animals, many of whom were extracted from hoarding situations or were surrendered due to the poor economy affecting the state of Michigan. 65 percent of these animals were saved by the Dearborn Animal Shelter which is astounding considering that the national average of animals which are received and euthanized by shelters is 70 percent.

You can help the private, non-profit organization Friends For the Dearborn Animal Shelter by joining them to celebrate the 5th Annual Mutt Strut & Pet Expo. The pledge-driven dog walk and community-wide celebration will take place at Dearborn’s Ford Field, with lots of entertainment, shopping, and fun focused on pets and their families. It will take place May 15 and 16 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Dearborn’s Ford Field— rain or shine or snow – all weather is dog weather!

Participants will be able to bring their broken and used wireless electronics,  such as cell phones, PDAs, MP3 players, iPods, iPhones, pagers, and digital cameras, to be recycled. All of the proceeds from the recycled e-waste will in turn go back to the Friends for the Dearborn Animal Shelter who can use it to care for the animals they rescue. If you have no e-waste to contribute you can also make a monetary donation. According to the shelter just $25 would provide an orphan kitten or puppy with special formula for 9 days.

Friends For the Dearborn Animal Shelter is dedicated to their mission of helping both homeless and owned animals, whether it be through care or adoption. You can help their passionate cause by visiting their website at and can learn how to get involved with the Mutt Strut & Pet Expo at

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