Ways to Recycle or Upcycle Scrap Metal
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. No saying could be truer than this when it comes to scrap metal. While a lot of people just tend to throw out any metal items they no longer need, such as those found in home renovation projects, other people gather these scraps for recycling or upcycling.
Why should you recycle or upcycle scrap metal products?
Let’s first talk about the difference between recycling and upcycling. The two words are quite similar but not exactly the same.
Recycling is the process where non-biodegradable objects; in most cases, these waste materials are destroyed and processed to form an entirely new product. Upcycling, on the other hand, takes that waste material and creates something new from it in its current state. Regardless, both recycling and upcycling bring several advantages.
Why is it important for us to recycle and upcycle scrap metal?
Aid in the environment’s preservation
Although recycling and upcycling have several benefits, the main advantage that both processes offer is environmental conservation. They help lessen the waste we produce and reduce our carbon footprint which is very beneficial to the environment.
Different Uses for Scrap Metal
Just because they no longer have any use for their intended purpose doesn’t mean that scrap metal should already be thrown out into the garbage. There are a lot of other ways that they can be reused. Recycling and upcycling them gives us plenty of other opportunities to create new products such as the following:
Use for industrial purposes
Perhaps the best way to reuse scrap metal is to find other uses for it in the industrial world, especially metals like aluminum and iron. They can be used in a construction project, like making bridges and roads, or as parts in manufacturing a car, plane, and other modes of transport.
Because they cost a lot less than producing new metals, scraps are a highly sought-after commodity in a lot of industries. For this reason, most scrap metals are reused and recycled for parts manufacturing.
Create new and stronger products
These pieces of waste material are also used to produce newer and stronger products. Using an electric arc furnace, metal scraps can be turned into higher quality equipment and tools. Stainless steel can be produced in this manner. Copper scraps can also be processed similarly. They are then subject to laser cutting or etching and finishing.
Aluminum scrap can be melted at lower temperatures compared to melting virgin aluminum. This means that the energy consumed in the process is far less which means lower carbon dioxide emissions. Doing so means that the environment is protected. It also leads to lower production costs which, hopefully, are passed on to the consumers in the market.
Make new home furnishings
Metal furniture is quite sturdy and aesthetically pleasant. In most cases, the materials used in metal furniture production are recycled metal scraps. They make for really durable pieces and aren’t easily broken as most furniture made of recycled materials. Most appliances are also made up of different components that are recycled material, especially aluminum.
The furniture industry has worked wonders with scrap metal use over the past few decades now. And with the continuous advancements we make technologically they are bound to figure out other ways to create better metal furniture pieces such as tables, chairs, gliders, benches, and lamps, among others.
A fine example of upcycling is producing metal artwork and sculptures. A lot of sculptors and artists use different pieces of scrap metal for sculptures and steampunk-inspired artwork. Metal artwork involves crafting different types of earthen ores such as gold, silver, bronze, lead, tin, iron, and other similar materials. Yes, this includes scrap metals.
The artist brings to life an artistic vision by welding and putting together different pieces of metal. However, decorative metalwork is not limited just limited to artists. Even ordinary folks have tried their hands at metal artwork and proudly display their finished work in their homes.
There are plenty of scrap buyers out there that are more than happy to take your waste metal off your hands. They can collect it, take it to the recycling facility, and ensure that it is recycled. This not only helps reduce the amount of waste we generate but also helps prevent the further mining of new metals for manufacturing purposes.
Plenty of things can be done to scrap metal that can lessen our carbon footprint. All it takes is a little resourcefulness and creativity and you can already help Mother Earth heal and recuperate in your own way.