12 Apr 2018

Pros And Cons Of Scrap Metal Recycling

by Dave

As with many things in life, there are people for and against scrap metal recycling (as well as those in between). Whilst a lot of people tend to be quite vocal about their stance on the issue, those of us who don’t have an opinion either way often prefer to keep out of the debate all together. But you don’t have to be vocal to have an opinion. To help you determine which side of the argument you fall on, we’ve outlined the pros and cons here:



There are a number of advantages to scrap metal recycling, including:

  • The level of pollution that we’re exerting on our land, soil and water is greatly reduced. This is hugely beneficial for the environment and ensuring our planet is around for years to come.
  • It helps to limit the amount of metals that must be produced, which means that there will be less rubbish ending up in landfill (a serious problem at the moment).
  • It creates jobs, which is great for the economy. We need people to sort the various metals, to deal with customers selling scrap, to drive trucks and to man the facilities melting it all down.
  • The rate at which we’re consuming the earth’s resources is slowed. Again, this is fantastic for the environment without sacrificing on the resources that we need to live.
  • Recycling uses far less fossil fuels than extracting raw ore from the earth does. This is because the process uses less energy, which means that fewer fossil fuels are burnt.
  • The profits that facilities stand to make are huge, as less time and energy is required. Beyond the basic overheads, everything else that comes in is pure profit for the corporation.


There are also a number of disadvantages to recycling, including:

  • The recycling process is not generally a quick one, as the metals often need to be manually separated from other recyclable material (such as plastics and paper).
  • It leads to more trucks on the roads, as additional transport is required to move the scrap between locations. This leads to congestion issues in cities, as well as increased road maintenance.
  • Many recycled metals are actually impure, which means that they must either be broken down to be reused (a complex task) or are simply unsuitable for certain tasks.
  • There is a need for more sort facilities and factories to be constructed and obtained. This can have a negative impact on the environment, not to mention means delays will be experienced.
  • Although jobs are created, it should be noted that they are fewer than those created by extracting raw ore. Many people will actually lose their jobs if extraction is completely eliminated.

We hope that the above list of pros and cons has enabled you to determine whether you are for or against scrap metal recycling. As you can see, there are plenty of advantages and disadvantages that need to be taken into account – but, at the end of the day, the benefits seem to far outweigh the drawbacks. If you have some old scrap that you no longer need, take some time to determine how you will dispose of it – and why you feel that way.