What about scrap metals?

My hobby of not attending meetings about recycling saves more energy than your hobby of recycling.
~John McCarthy

Too bad I didn’t think of this when my scissors broke. I did, thankfully, think about it when I replaced my windshield wipers.

Scrap metal can be recycled. My boss has a bin for it at work, in fact, and some random guy comes by every now and then and takes it away. In fact, metal recycling is pretty good business…enough that my boss threatened said random guy should he even stare too hard at the zinc and lead recycling bins. We sell the zinc and lead ourselves.

But unlike recycling of paper, plastic, glass, steel cans, and aluminum, there aren’t any systems in place for the household recycling of scrap metal. There are places to take scrap metal to, but I don’t see them listed on my old “Things you can recycle and where in this town” brochure. It certainly isn’t being pushed by the city. Kind of strange, I think.

But I also think it’s all because recycling scrap metal would be different than recycling numbers one and two plastics. You have all different metals…steel, bronze, tin, aluminum. Much of it, like my broken scissors, has plastic affixed to it. A little harder than merely taking the cap off and rising it out.

But if we’re serious about this recycling thing, eventually we’ll have to consider the incidentals like broken scissors (or other things found in the scrap metal bin: computer parts, Christmas lights, steel containers, and rebar.) Metals are financially and environmentally expensive to mine and produce. That’s why the random guy comes to take off with the scrap metal bin…he makes money selling it.

I think there may be a future in this, if it can be marketed properly. The city could probably make quite a bit if they included scrap metal in with the list of other things they curb-side recycle. Unfortunately, it’s not exactly eco-chique. The city’s got other problems, too…like their unwillingness to extend recycling services to apartment complexes. Their loss, random guy’s gain.


2 Responses to “What about scrap metals?”

  1. Dargon Says:

    This is particularly interesting, considering metal is, to my knowledge, the only thing where the recycled product is actually cheaper and more energy efficient to make than the new product. All the things in the brochure are money and energy losses.

    Perhaps, though, they are not in the brochure because the others get government subsidies quite often; the service loses money, thus the government funds it. Scrapyards on the other hand tend to be private businesses, seeing as metal makes money. As private businesses, they get excluded from the city’s materials.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s