When many people think of recycling, they often think of paper and plastic products. Paper and plastic comprise an important sector of recycling, but they aren’t the entire picture.

Another critical material to recycle is metal.

Aluminum Cans Crushed For Recycling

The incredible thing about recycling metal is that you can do it again and again… and again. Recycling doesn’t hinder or diminish the quality of the metal, allowing for the metal to be recycled indefinitely. Recycled metal is a truly renewable resource that can help limit our impact on the environment and help the economy.

Recycling scrap metal requires much less energy and resources to produce than generating new metal from mining ore. Not only does the production of new metal create a lot more greenhouse gas emissions, mining has many other negative side effects.

When near populated areas, the air pollution can create respiratory health concerns for the neighboring areas. The waste from mines can also run-off into water supplies, creating destruction for wildlife habitats. Harmful mining practices can be seen across the country – even in Minnesota. Mining can also pollute groundwater and leave lasting scars on the earth.

In 2008, there was approximately 150 million tons of scrap metal was recycled. This makes up about 40 percent of the world’s available metal used for manufacturing. Image what could happen if that number increases!

The Economic Benefits of Recycling Metal

Not only is recycled metal better for the environment, but it’s better for your pocket book. The recycling industry is a major contributor to the U.S. economy by increasing our Gross Domestic Product by tens of billions of dollars each year. The Scrap Metal Recycling Institute found that the scrap metal industry alone adds half a million jobs to the workforce.

Recycled metal is cheaper to produce, making it more affordable to buy metal products when they hit the shelves. This is crucial because metal is everywhere. By recycling your soda can, you are helping drive down prices for canned vegetables at the grocery store and by making batteries and screws cheaper. Even bigger items like boats and cars use recycled metal.

Tom Kraemer, Inc wants to make it easy for you to start making an impact today. TKI has two convenient drop-off and recycling sites in Minnesota – one in Cold Spring and the other in Glenwood. Both sites are open Monday-Friday from 7:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Start making a difference by recycling with Tom Kraemer, Inc. Find a list of recyclable materials here.