The most significant benefits of scrap metal recycling include job creation, generating large amounts of revenue, saving energy and conservation of natural resources. These benefits contribute to making scrap metals the most commonly recycled and reused commodity in the world.
A 2011 survey indicates that the scrap metal Industry employed over 450,000 workers in the United States and created $10.3 billion in revenue for governments throughout the country, says Forbes. States with larger populations, such as New York, California, Texas and Florida, prosper the most when it comes to employment and revenue in this industry.
In order to remove ore from the earth, fossil fuels power the equipment necessary to extract it. Metal recycling still requires some fossil fuel usage, but not nearly as much. Energy savings range from 56 to 92 percent, says About.com.
Recycling 2,000 pounds of steel saves thousands of pounds of iron ore and coal and more than a hundred pounds of limestone over making the steel from new materials. For aluminum, recycling 2,000 pounds saves 16,000 pounds of bauxite ore over making new aluminum.
Scrap metal recycling prevents waste from getting into landfills. It reduces the use of chemicals needed in ore mining, which would otherwise end up in water supplies. Scrap metal sales to recycling plants provide cash to the sellers and material to the plant.