How much metal did we recycle last year and why does it matter? 

Date

Sustainability is a buzz word talked about in many corners and industries. Often it comes with mandates, regulations and requirements that seem out of reach for many smaller businesses, particularly in the metal fabrication, installation, and manufacturing industries.  

These businesses want to make gradual improvements that make our environment cleaner and help us run more efficiently but they often feel overwhelmed and do not know where to start. This can set up a combative environment that does not do us any good in helping us reach our sustainability or net zero goals, because no movement can truly gain momentum unless small business is totally on board. 

That push for small steps that communicate sustainability in a positive light is one of the reasons why Sahd Metal Recycling is committed to providing our customers with an annual sustainability report as the New Year begins! There are many reasons why this report is an important item for our customers, and here are a few of them: 

1. Create less scrap metal, yes really!: 

What gets measured gets improved! While we are in the scrap metal recycling business it is in our interest to help our customers become more efficient with their metal usage and to create less scrap per job! By helping our customers measure their scrap it shines a spotlight on this metric, and it helps rally the team behind improvements that can lessen the scrap on each job. Better nesting on a laser table, more optimized cuts or ordering of material of differing lengths are all improvements customers of ours have made simply by knowing their numbers and focusing on continued improvement. The more financially viable our customers and their customers are the better our company’s future is! 

2. What is the C02 impact of our recycling efforts? 

Using less material or increasing the material you recycle is far more sustainable than the alternative—digging into the ground for new raw materials! We discovered https://recyclewits.com/, an amazing resource that allows us to see the impact of these efforts. This website is a tool for calculating the CO2 savings inherent in recycling efforts by material type. It is a tool based on this study (Science Direct Article) that calculates the following pounds of CO2 savings by metal type: 

Plastics 2.26 lbs CO2 offset 

Paper 1.01 lbs CO2 offset 

Glass 0.68 lbs CO2 offset 

Metals 12.92 lbs CO2 offset 

Textiles. 7.43 lbs CO2 offset 

Emphasizing that the alternative to recycling is digging into the ground can help the public understand that recycling is our only truly viable option in a society dependent on so many goods and so few resources.  

We are constantly looking for more resources to use, including ones that would break out steel, aluminum, copper, brass, and stainless steel by metal type, so if you know any of those calculators please share with us! 

3. Sustainable Contribution and Timely Reporting is a MUST: 

For companies committed to sustainability, understanding their yearly metal totals is vital. Accurate knowledge of the amount of metal recycled allows businesses to report their totals to government entities properly. These townships and municipalities often require this reporting incredibly early in January and having a scrap metal partner that prioritizes the dissemination of this information in a timely manner is crucial to the relationship.  

The only way this is possible of course is with consistent ticketing for each load, with each commodity in the load broken out and reported on each time. These annual totals are just an addition of the ticket-by-ticket breakouts our customers are given with each payment. 

4. More and varying voices leading in sustainability are the key to widespread adoption: 

If the same voices in alternative energy, government and public policy are the only voices, society’s move to a greener economy will take an exponentially longer time. With industry adding our voices to this important initiative we will be taken seriously as part of the solution and not just businesses that need to be regulated to achieve goals. Our companies are doing the challenging work of creating efficiency, energy savings and investing in solar and other alternative energies that will make a difference in our society. Promoting these efforts in our recycling program and other investments we make are especially important to show our leadership in this field. 

Conclusion: 

The scrap metal industry and our partners, the fabricators, designers, manufacturers, and installers that create goods that we use every day are inherently green in many of their everyday practices. It is indisputable that recycling is the only option that is viable for a sustainable future—we cannot dig our way to making all we need to make for the future we seek to create. Reducing greenhouse gases responsibly should be the priority of all our businesses, and the promotion of CO2 savings with our recycling totals should be promoted by every organization in this industry! 

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Acceptable Materials

Appliances including:
  • Stoves
  • Microwaves
  • Washers and Dryers
  • Dishwashers
  • FOR A $10 FEE—Air Conditioners

End of Life Items Including:
  • Machinery (all fluids,pans and cylinders removed)
  • Farm Equipment
  • Farm Machinery
  • Lawnmowers
  • Cast Iron Patio Furniture
  • Cast Iron Outdoor Railing
  • Sheet Metal
  • Steel Wheels
  • Steel

Nonferrous Scrap:
  • Aluminum
  • Aluminum Cans
  • Aluminum Pots and Pans
  • Aluminum Siding/Gutters/Downspouts
  • Aluminum Patio Furniture
  • Aluminum Wheels
  • Aluminum Wire
  • Auto Batteries
  • Brass Fixtures/Lamps Decorative items
  • Cable, Fence and Wire
  • Christmas Lights
  • Copper
  • Copper and Brass Plumbing Pipes
  • Copper and Brass Plumbing Valves and Connectors
  • Copper Tubing
  • Copper Wire
  • Electric Motors
  • Insulated Wire
  • Radiators
  • Screen Doors/Windows (glass removed)
  • Stainless Steel

Prohibited Materials

  • Acetylene Cylinders
  • Asbestos or Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM)- applies to both fibrous and solid materials
  • Any Scrap Containing Refrigerants (CFC or HCFC) (Freezers, Refrigerators)  Air Conditioners are accepted for a $10 fee
  • Cathode Ray Tubes (CRT/tube-style computer monitors or televisions)
  • Closed Compressed Gas Cylinders – high pressure cylinders with valve intact
  • Combustible or Flammable Materials – fuels, paints, degreasers, unpunctured aerosol cans
  • Corrosive Materials – highly acidic or caustic materials (battery acid, caustic soda, etc.)
  • Explosive Materials, Munitions, Shell Casings – includes suspect military scrap
  • Free Flowing Liquids (including water)
  • Hazardous Waste – toxic or poisonous materials or wastes
  • Infectious Materials – blood-soaked or biohazard items
  • Liquids or Scrap Containing Free Flowing Liquids – fuels, antifreeze, oils, hydraulic fluid, paints
  • Mercury Containing Materials – mercury-containing thermostats, switches or fluorescent light bulbs
  • Non-Metallic Items – concrete, wood, asphalt, dirt, debris, tires (more than 5 per auto)
  • PCB-Containing Materials
  • Whole tanks uncut
  • Radioactive Scrap – anything exhibiting radiation levels above background
  • Scrap with Small Capacitors that contain 50 ppm of PCBs