How Recycling Scrap Metal Helps Reduce Greenhouse Gases

Overuse of fossil fuels, deforestation — mainly to make space for cattle farming and the growing human footprint — drastically impact the state of our planet. Higher emissions of greenhouse gases caused by human activity have also, for at least a decade, had environmental scientists on high alert as the earth warms at rapid paces, causing among many unpleasant outcomes much more severe seasons and storms.

Another unwanted consequence of modern life on the globe is rapidly diminishing virgin materials. The gas that powers our cars and planes, the electricity that lights up our homes and offices and the energy that drives manufacturing around the world — all come from fossil fuels.

Yes, We Are Running Out Of New Metals

Researchers believe some of earth’s raw materials, like tin, zinc and copper, could be completely depleted in the next 10 to 75 years. While this doesn’t bode well for the earth that we all share and call home, it does create increased opportunity for each one of us to consider our daily usage of fuel and energy.

Industry scrap metal is broken down at a GLE Scrap Metal recycling center
GLE Scrap Metal can help you transport large industrial orders of scrap and swarf

As we all benefit from the rich resources the earth provides, it’s up to everyone to do their part in protecting our shared environment. If you’re someone who cares about where you live, there may be a relatively easy way to get involved in reducing your imprint that you haven’t considered before.

What’s that? Recycling scrap metal.

What are the Benefits of Recycling Scrap Metal?

Existing metal, like the aluminum found in soda cans, can be easily recycled. In some cases, metal produced from recycling requires 95 percent less energy to smelt when compared to standard smelting from ore. For metal that’s already been refined and processed, a second manufacturing is easier, cleaner and less energy intensive.

The process is similar to what happens with other recycled materials like wood. Because the raw product has already been extracted from the tree, repurposing parts of it is much easier on everyone, from individual makers to manufacturers.

Recycling For The Environment and Profit

Companies like ours (and Mother Earth!) depend on people like you to support efforts in recycling scrap metal that can be found in many locations.

Metal Recycling Industry
Your old wires and small scrap gets ground down and smelted into new briquettes.

An added bonus for salvaging scrap metal is that you can make some extra money as well! If you’re unsure where to look, don’t worry — we’ve got a great guide for you here that should give you some insight into where to get your scrap metal scavenging started.

How does Recycling Scrap Metal Impact the Climate?

Greenhouse gases are classified as a group of compounds that are able to trap heat in the atmosphere, making it much warmer than it would be if these gases were not present. A high presence of these gases over a sustained period of time causes accelerated warming that is unlikely to slow or be reversed. Choosing to recycle unwanted metal you may find helps reduce the amount of raw metal material that’s required to be extracted from our earth’s core.

While one person individually may not be able to change the temperature dial for our planet, a combined effort from cities, states and nations that put a focus on recycling scrap metal to reduce overall manufacturing of raw materials can in fact have positive effects on earth’s rising temperatures over time.

While greenhouse gases appear naturally in our atmosphere, extraction of fossil fuels to create energy greatly increases the levels that are present. On the subject of “creating energy,” did you know energy cannot be destroyed or created — only transformed? That means then, there are other sources of naturally occurring energy that are up for … transformation.

A Better Resource: The Sun

A simple look outside your window on a sunny day will introduce you to one of the most powerful, naturally occurring energy sources: the sun.

Consider this surprising statistic on that bright ball of fire shining in the sky: enough sunlight reaches the earth’s surface each day to satisfy the world’s energy demands — for an entire year! Imagine if there was a way for us to capture, convert and distribute all that energy! The result on our planet’s climate could certainly be felt by combined efforts of recycling and more efficiently using natural energy sources.

A windmill in the middle of sunflower plantation.

How much can I make from recycling scrap metal?

It’s well worth taking it into a local scrap metal recycling company like GLE Scrap Metal. Focusing on the more precious metals that are in high demand will return the most bang for your hunk (of scrap, that is). Estimates say around $10 per 100 pounds of scrap is normal. But this number can fluctuate depending on metal variety, supply and demand and where you live.

Where Can I Find Scrap to Recycle?

Unwanted scrap metal is all around you, believe it or not. Construction sites are gold mines for unwanted metal, but make sure to call the site overseer ahead of time before foraging through an empty site at night or on weekends because scrap theft is illegal. Hospitals and even apartment complexes are great places to look for metals that can be recycled at your local scrap metal company.

wires being brought back to a GLE recycling center and the recycling economy

Often times there are old shopping carts or big pieces of furniture with metal feet or rails that can be taken off and added to your scrap metal heap. Dumpsters are an obvious choice for finding scrap metal, but as they are city-wide trash receptacles, so searching there can be a little dodgy and obviously smelly.


Regardless of where or how you choose to get started, what’s most important is being a part of a global change and a culture of recycling that means positive outcomes for our communities. Whether you choose to get into recycling small amounts of scrap metal every now and then or become an expert in the hobby, you can help reduce the negative effects of fossil fuel production by recycling scrap metal.

Contact GLE Scrap Metal today to find more about how you can turn your unwanted scrap into cash, and help our environment at the same time. Call GLE at 855-SCRAP-88 to request a quote.

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