Scrap metal is a common by-product of many manufacturing industries. But despite being completely recyclable, scrap metal is dumped in the landfill instead.
The metal by-product in metal manufacturing, as well as other industrial operations, can be saved and repurposed into other metal products, which can save energy and limit pollution. Sadly, scrap metal and other metal by-products are discarded too often and eventually accumulate in landfill sites.
Metal Mining Pollution
Metal is mined and extracted from ore then placed into a furnace to be moulded into a product. This process can disturb areas of natural beauty. Mining causes waste to pile up and cover large areas. The waste will remain where it is left until it is reclaimed or re-inhabited by wildlife.
One by-product of smelting called slag has traces of harmful elements like chromium and vanadium. When released into the environment, these elements pose an alarming threat to both human health and pollution.
Air and Soil Pollution
Metal manufacturing causes air pollution from furnaces, fumes and noise levels.
Furnaces used in metal manufacturing produce fumes that can cause air pollution. Gases and particulates released from smelting plants contaminate the air and may cause respiratory problems like asthma. One by-product of smelting is sulphur dioxide, which causes acid rain once it evaporates. The acidic rainfall not only affects bodies of water but also makes soil unconducive to agriculture.
Repurposing Scrap Metal
Businesses can help reduce the environmental impact of metal manufacture by enlisting the help of a waste management company to retrieve and recycle any scrap metal. Reusing existing resources reduces the need for mining new metal and prevents recyclable materials from piling up in the landfill. It will also give businesses the chance to go green and boost their reputation.
Metal recycling is one way to reduce the environmental impacts of industrial operations. Applying the concept of ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ in the industrial sector can prevent serious environmental risks.