What Are Recycled Metals Used For?

The economic impact of recycling is expanding, meaning that the use of recycled metals is growing and growing. What are recycled metals used for? Here is a breakdown of the importance of recycling scrap metal and the many uses of reused metals. 

It’s well known that recycling has a dramatic impact on the environment. Recycling reduces the amount of waste that is sent to landfills, conserves natural resources and can save energy as well as reduce the emission of greenhouse gasses. 

Just by using recycled steel there is an 86 percent reduction in air pollution and a 76 percent reduction in water pollution. That’s why it’s so important to recycle. From plastics to paper waste, all the way to scrap metal, the need to recycle is more important now than ever. 

But just how much does scrap metal recycling impact the environment and contribute to energy savings? 

Saving Energy with Recycling 

The United States recycles 150 million metric tons of scrap metal each year. Scrap metal is one of the easiest recyclables, as it can be reused and transformed into new materials, saving energy as well as the money needed to refine new metals.

In order to better illustrate this information, let’s review one of the most common recycled items—an item that we are all familiar with. An aluminum can. 

One of the most quintessential metal items, found in American refrigerators, trashcans, landfills and (ideally) the recycling bin; this item is easily recycled and can save tons of energy.  

Recycling a single aluminum can save enough energy to run a lightbulb for 20 hours or a computer for 3 hours. 

Despite this positive net energy, in 2015, only 34.9 percent of aluminum cans were recycled; 2.4 million cans were tossed into landfills. A huge loss in energy savings and scrap metal recycling. The fact is, aluminum can be recycled using less than 5 percent of the energy that it was used to originally produce it. 2.4 million cans tossed away is a massive and unfortunate energy loss. That’s essentially throwing away 7.2 million hours of computer power and 2 million hours of light in your home. 

What Are Recycled Metals Used For? 

scrap metal recycling uses

Now that you know the energy gain from recycling even just the smallest of scrap metal items, let’s dive into what recycled metals are used for—or what items are composed of (or made completely of) recycled scrap metal. 

Metals, such as aluminum, steel, brass, iron, and copper can be reused over and over again, reducing the amount of waste produced. 

Much of the scrap metal that is recycled in the United States goes into the manufacturing of completely new items, such as appliances or building materials. Manufacturing and Construction Projects 

Many of the recycled metals in the US are reused to make new appliances, or reused in construction. Some of the more common items are:

  • Cars
  • Planes
  • Industrial containers
  • Ductwork

Food Packaging 

Many canned foods utilize recycled metals in their packaging. That can of corn you have in your kitchen cupboard, that likely is composed of reused metal.


Much of the furniture produced today has some component that was recycled. Common items you can find in your home or on your porch that have been recycled are: 

  • Lamps
  • Tables
  • Furniture
  • Benches

Art in the Form of Scrap Metal 

Photo Courtesy: AirtightArtwork

Scrap metal art has been growing in popularity for the last few years. This form of art really takes to heart the idiom, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Artists are reinventing what we consider “trash” showcasing wonderful renditions of work by reusing scrap metal in a vibrant way. 

Scrap Metal Recycling 

Now that you know what recycled metals are used for and are thinking about recycling scrap metal, it’s time to find a local scrap metal recycling firm that understands the importance of scrap metal recycling. You can take your scrap metal to an experienced scrap metal recycler like GLE Scrap Metal. At GLE, we will buy and process all grades of metal.

We offer expert scrap metal recycling services to businesses, demolition companies, and the public. We are your scrap metal recycler who is able to provide you with additional revenue while also providing all of us with a cleaner and healthier environment. To find out more contact us or call us at 855-727-2788.


Related Posts

Copper wire scrap piled on top of itself

As you may know, copper is one of the most valuable metals on the market. Many industries use copper because of its great conductivity and ductility, and this makes copper wire scrap particularly valuable. Knowing how to recycle copper wire scrap not only helps to conserve precious resources but also helps improve your bottom line.

Stainless steel scrap metal recycling

When you think of stainless steel, your mind probably pictures a rust-free, shiny metal. Since stainless steel is resistant to corrosion, you can find the metal built into millions of different appliances. But, what happens to stainless steel when these items are scrapped? Is there such a thing as stainless steel recycling? The short answer

Everything You Should Know About Red Metals, Summarized Whether you recognize them or not, red metals are everywhere. You probably encounter them on a daily basis. In fact, some of the most commonly used metallic materials are composed of red metal. Statues, coins, electrical wiring, and industrial machinery all have one thing in common: they