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Scrap Recycling and the Environment – ISRI Scrap Yearbook 2012

January 22, 2013

Scrap recycling offers real sustainable solutions for balancing economic growth and environmental stewardship.  While market fundamentals provide the incentives to recycle and consume scrap material, recycling has numerous positive externalities, including significant environmental benefits.

Recycling reduces greenhouse gas emissions by significantly saving the amount of energy needed to manufacture the products that we buy, build and use.  In addition to energy savings, recycling reduces the amount of material that would otherwise be sent to landfills, saving land for more productive uses.  Recycling also reduces the need to mine for new ore or cut down more trees to make our products.  The scrap industry takes the job of environmental stewardship extremely seriously.

Did you know?

Energy saved using recycled materials is up to:

92% for aluminum

90% for copper

87% for plastic

68% for paper

56% for steel

34% for glass

Recycling 1 ton of:

  • Paper saves 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space.
  • Steel conserves 2,500 lbs. of iron ore, 1,400 lbs. of coal and 120 lbs. of limestone.
  • Aluminum conserves more than 5 metric tons of bauxite ore and 14 megawatt hours of electricity.

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