Metal Recycling – Facts to know!

Community Metal Recycling

Metal is just one of many materials we use daily in our lives and it’s really worth recycling when it has served its purpose. The type of objects that can be recycled includes aluminium and steel cans, electrical appliances, silverware, legs from office desks and chairs, old household pots and pans, cooking and baking equipment, school, office or sports lockers, gates, step ladders or zippers, the list is endless.

Household Metal for Recycling

We recently learned that recycling one aluminium can, saves enough energy to run a TV for 3 hours and if that’s not enough, the amount of aluminium thrown away annually in the U.S. would rebuild their commercial air fleet four times per year.

There are interesting facts below which we hope will encourage you to think about metal as a scarce resource and not just scrap. Without metal to manufacture, our daily trips to school by car or bus or our annual holidays by train, ferry or plane might not be as easy or affordable.

Metal Sink

Interesting metal recycling facts

  1. Metal recycling is good for the national economy and the environment e.g. increased local employment and reduced emissions.
  2. Recycling one tonne of steel saves 1,136 kg of iron ore, 454 kg of coal and 18 kg of limestone
  3. You can test which metal is in your bin by using a magnet. Aluminium metal is non-magnetic whereas steel is magnetic. (Great learning for kids)
  4. Drinks cans are made from aluminium while food cans are usually made from steel.
  5. Metal recycling helps recreated new products once the original items have reached the end of their useful life.
  6. Recycling scrap metals including iron and aluminium can benefit local construction projects such as roads and bridges.
  7. Scrap metals are refashioned for use in creating bikes, cars, aircraft and other modes of transportation.
  8. The United States of America annually recycles enough ferrous scrap, by weight, to build more than 900 of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridges.
  9. Scrap metals aid in the storage and transportation of goods across the world with many shipping containers created from recycled metal.
  10. Reusing scrap metal has supported many industries to reduce their environmental impact e.g. reduced mining of natural and scarce resources.
  11. Recycled aluminium can be melted at a much lower temperature than new aluminium, therefore, saving on energy.
  12. Scrap metal recycling helps reduce Co2 emissions created through mining, transport, and smelting.
  13. Recycled, reused or re-purposed metals can be used to make beautiful and durable home furnishing and decorations. Think about the festive season!
  14. Recycling scrap metal reduces the need for landfill sites and leads to a positive effect on water supply, soil, and land usage.
  15. A computer contains around 1.5 kg of copper, a typical home about 100 kg and a wind turbine 5 tons.
  16. In 2014, 2.1 million tons of copper were reused in Europe, coming from end-of-life products and directly-recycled factory waste.
  17. China is the world’s second-largest user of steel scrap after the EU.
  18. Steel products can be recycled repeatedly without loss of strength.
  19. One scrapped car produces more than four steel street light posts.

Don’t Dump – Recycle Metal

Did you know?

Aluminium is made from a mined ore called Bauxite, which is converted into alumina, a fine white powder. This powder is then smelted at over 700°C, to become aluminium. The process is expensive and uses lots of resources including energy and fuel.

Many aluminium items used daily are recycled but those used in packaging like ready-to-cook foil trays are difficult to collect since it is very light and usually encrusted with food after baking. These types of items are discarded in many homes, schools, offices, pubs and restaurants without much thought for the environment or metal recycling. Maybe it’s time to try a reusable alternative to foil cooking trays and foil food wrap!


Did you know manufacturing recycled metal items requires an estimated 17 times less energy than manufacturing the same items from newly mined metal? Keep this in mind when replacing washing machines, cookers, ovens or hobs. They all contain metal that can be recycled. Recycle IT breakdown and recycle large household appliances daily. These include washing machines, dishwashers, and tumble dryers. Click here to view our list.

Metal Table Legs

About Recycle IT 

Recycle IT, is a social enterprise offering electrical, electronic and metal recycling services through drop-off and collection. Services are provided in partnership with WEEE Ireland and South Dublin County Council. Recycle IT is supported by Pobal and Dormant Accounts and authorized by the National Waste Collection Permit Office and the local authorities across Leinster.

For more information on Recycle IT please call 01 4578321, email or visit our website

Click here to learn more about recycling metal with Recycle IT.

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Recycle IT is Part Funded through the Dormant Accounts Fund

2 thoughts on “Metal Recycling – Facts to know!

  1. The iconic mini stadium near my house is going to be demolished next week to make way for the construction of a newer stadium after that. This article reminds me of that because the seats are basically made of steel. I’ll make sure those in-charge with the project read this info first so they can dispose of them responsibly soon after. Thank you for specifically tell us that metal recycling can obviously reduce our collective carbon footprint as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Recycling Electrical Cables – Recycle IT

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