A hit song from the legendary Oakland funk band Tower of Power warned us that “there’s only so much oil in the ground.” Just like petroleum, there’s only so much metal in the ground, and when it’s gone, it’s gone. That means we all have to do what we can to recycle existing metals and keep what we can in the ground. This is not a wholly selfless endeavor. Here are some of the benefits of recycling steel and other scrap metals.

Recycling Steel: The Right Thing To Do

We’ll start with the bad news—you won’t make a fortune recycling steel scrap. While prompt scrap, the pre-consumer iteration of steel scrap that recyclers obtain from contracts with manufacturers, has a higher value than well-used obsolete scrap, its value still pales in comparison with non-ferrous metals. With most of what you sell, you can expect to make a few cents per pound. At first glance, that seems disappointing—perhaps not even enough to grab a burger on the way home. But remember that with the prevalence of steel scrap, this profit adds up fast, and a literal ton of steel can net around a respectable $200.

More important than the immediate financial incentive of recycling steel is preserving precious energy and raw materials. Producing steel from recycled sources reduces mining for iron, decreases carbon dioxide emissions, and keeps steel affordable in the long run. Imagine, if you dare, a world without recycled steel products. The escalating costs of producing virgin steel wouldn’t just hurt manufacturers—they’d pass the costs on, as they always do, to you. A robust steel-recycling industry keeps the costs of one of our most important building materials from spiraling out of control.

Recycling Non-Ferrous Metals

As integral to industry as recycling and recirculating steel is, it’s perhaps even more key to manufacturers to recycle non-ferrous metals—those which, unlike steel, do not contain iron and are resistant to the corrosion process that turns so much iron and steel to rust. These valuable and recyclable metals include copper, aluminum, brass, zinc, lead, and tin. Their high durability and high demand combine to provide a high resale value to recyclers. A metal such as copper, which occurs in brass and bronze alloys along with its elemental form, can be recycled infinitely with the proper processes. It’s likely that some of the copper in the wiring or fixtures you’re recycling has been in use for hundreds or thousands of years.

Making Sense (and Cents) of Your Metals

Before enjoying the benefits of recycling steel and other scrap metals, you need to separate the ferrous from the non-ferrous in advance of further processes or deliveries. That’s where Moley Magnetics comes in. Ferrous metals such as iron and steel are naturally magnetic, which means that a high-powered electromagnet will do the job with ease. Moley Magnetics is your leading lifting magnet supplier, with magnets that reliably sort the steel from the rest and help you get the most from your recycling.