Recycling scrap metal holds countless benefits for the environment. According to The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), recycling scrap metal can reduce greenhouse emissions from over 52 billion tons to just 500 million tons - a huge difference. Recycling also preserves the environment’s natural resources by reusing existing metals rather than mining new raw materials. The good news is that almost every kind of metal can be recycled an infinite amount of times, meaning you can recycle both ferrous and non-ferrous metals!
Besides its environmental benefits, recycling metal also poses numerous economic benefits. The metal recycling industry creates more than 500,000 jobs and generates a tax revenue of over $10 billion across the US yearly. By lowering the cost of producing usable metals, recycling reduces the price of consumer goods such as appliances, automobiles, architectural structures, cutlery, etc. If you wish to help your environment and economy while making some cash along the way, Second Street Iron & Metal is always ready to purchase both ferrous and non-ferrous metals from residents and businesses in the Greater Boston area!
Metals can be divided into two major groups: ferrous and non-ferrous. Both groups can be recycled, although the recycling methods may vary. The differentiating property between the two types of metals is that ferrous metals contain iron while non-ferrous metals do not. Examples of ferrous metals include stainless steel, carbon steel, cast iron, and wrought iron.
Ferrous metals have a higher tensile strength than their non-ferrous counterparts, making them the preferred choice for architectural purposes. Their magnetic properties also make them functional components of electrical and motor appliances. Other uses of ferrous metals are seen in the production of shipping containers, industrial piping, fencing, cookware, railing, tools, etc.
The major downside to ferrous metals is that their high carbon content makes them vulnerable to rust. The only exceptions are wrought iron and stainless steel. Wrought iron owes its rust resistance to its pure iron content and fibrous structure, while the chromium in stainless steel reacts with oxygen to form a protective “passive” layer that makes it rust-resistant.
As stated above, non-ferrous metals do not contain iron and are, thus, not magnetic. Since these metals are lighter and more malleable than their ferrous counterparts, non-ferrous metals are the best option for applications that demand low-weight yet durable metals. Although they lack magnetic properties, non-ferrous metals are excellent conductors of electricity and heat. The absence of iron in non-ferrous metals also makes them corrosion-resistant.
Examples of these metals are aluminum, lead, nickel, tin, gold, silver, platinum, copper, and copper alloys such as bronze and brass. Aluminum is used in manufacturing aircraft parts, pistons, radiators, and food cans. Due to its low resistivity level, copper is the metal of choice for producing electrical cables and batteries. Silver and gold have extensive uses in jewelry, cutlery, and electrical circuit contacts. Non-ferrous metals are also used for roofing, gutters, fixtures and fittings, kitchen utensils, statues, fuels, paints, computer parts, and much more.
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Both ferrous and non-ferrous metals are indispensable to most industries. However, continuous mining of these metals increases greenhouse gas emissions, depletes natural resources, and causes land pollution. Scrap metal recycling provides a sustainable approach to the production of usable metals in our society!
At Second Street Iron & Metal, we purchase ferrous metals and non-ferrous metals, as well as junk vehicles, for the best prices in the Greater Boston area! Our recycling services are open to businesses, demolition companies, homeowners, and the general public in the Boston region. Contact us today to get started by giving us a call at (617) 387-1188 or by filling out the contact form on our website!