Courtesy of Scrap Price Bulletin
The start of 2016 had everyone feeling optimistic. The scrap metal price per pound was up by 8-12 percent in January, compared to last year’s prices. Then it continued to rise for the next four months. After summer came, these prices went on a downward spiral to disappointment.
The good news is that even though the prices dipped, they are still higher than the prices in January 2016. Do you sell your metal junk to your local scrap center now or hoard it until the prices soar again? This is really up to you. Experts say that prices of scrap metal may continue to dip until the end of the year.
What is Scrap Metal?
Scrap metal is metal extracted from appliances and materials that you have no longer any use for. Most materials may not even be in any working condition. The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) reports that steel, aluminum, and precious metals such as brass, copper, silver, and gold are recycled the most. Here is a list of the best metals to scrap.
What Happens To Discarded Metal?
Metal recycling is the best way to make use of unwanted metals. Such metals may otherwise be discarded in landfills. Metals in landfills may seep into the ground and contaminate the environment, making the soil unfit.
The process of metal recycling is systematic. Scrap centers collect the many metals and sort them according to the metal type. The recycling centers purify this large collection of metals to make them brand new. This recycled metal can now be safely used for products.
Reasons to Recycle Metals
Easy to Recycle
The number one reason to recycle metals is because they can be repurposed for use in other products. Scrap metals are recycled per pound and often can be recycled over and over again, without diminishing their quality. These metals are then used many times, without having to produce the metal from raw resources.
Saves the Environment
Recycling unwanted metal preserves natural resources. Resources that are otherwise depleted by mining or the process used to extract raw materials from the earth. If mining is not brought under control, there will be large excavated holes everywhere.
Recycling scrap metals saves energy – energy that is likely spent extracting, cleaning, and purifying the metals from scratch. The unused energy is then redirected to other plans that help the economy. Recycling metals also saves natural resources. When the recycled metals are in demand, metals required from natural resources remain untouched.
Instead of acquiring metal from ores for production, the recycling method of acquiring new metal saves money for large corporations and the government. This money can then be redirected into causes that need more attention such as the education, transport etc. Jobs created and many problems solved, this only enhances the socioeconomic development.
Earns You Money
Collecting scrap metal per pound is the most recommended. You need to have enough metal to sell to a recycling or a scrap center. Selling it means making you money. If everyone recycled, then the prices of metals are bound to decrease. This helps everyone save money on the cost of metals. That would translate to appliances, phones, etc. to be available on reduced retail prices.
How Scrap Metal Is Used
The scrap metal recycled by homeowners, plumbers, construction workers and the like, undergoes a sophisticated recycling process. First, the metals are sorted and separated according to the metal types. So all copper, aluminum, brass, steel are segregated into different groups and stored.
Each piece is weighed. There are special weighing scales for every size of metal. From walk-on scales for small metals to truck-scales for heavier metals. After weighing, the customer gets paid for the metal. The pay depends on the trend of scrap metal price that particular day.
The metal stored at the scrap yard eventually grows bigger in quantity. It is then packed and shipped to larger yards for storage. Or the accumulated metal is shipped to a refinery where the scrap metal is first melted. This metal is then resized and shipped to another source for further purification processes.
After purification, the metals are now ready to use in new products.The recycling process for metals is not as simple as it may seem. Metal that comes from used appliances or insulated wires are hard to separate. For example, copper from the inside of an insulated wire undergoes a process where it is ground to set it apart from the plastic insulation. Plastic is recycled as well.
Regardless of the trend in metal scrap prices, it is always wise to recycle metals. If you want to recycle, make sure you hand over your metals to a trusted scrap collector. One that would help you recycle your unwanted metal responsibly.