Scrap metal recycling has been a significant concern for centuries. Today, scrap recycling is a multi-billion dollar business, worldwide. Scrap materials are collected from individuals, machine shops, manufacturers, government entities, and other industries. Scrap metal is composed of many different items representing consumed final products and byproducts of production processes. Scrap metal consists of used beverage containers, used piping, sheet metal, automobiles, appliances, computer components, kitchenware, lawn furniture, bicycles, obsolete equipment, copper wire, structural steel, and other used, depleted or otherwise consumed final products.
Typically, recycled products are used in the manufacturing process to create new products and extend the life span of the raw materials. Over 5400 BTU's of energy are conserved for every pound of reclaimed steel used in the production process. Every time a ton of steel is recycled, 2500 pounds of iron ore, 1000 pounds of coal, and 40 pounds of limestone are preserved. Recycling aluminum uses 5% of the energy needed to produce new aluminum from raw materials. Recycled iron and steel results in energy savings of 74%; recycled copper 85%; recycled plastic 80%.
There has been and continues to be a strong demand for recycled scrap metals in the marketplace due to increased worldwide demand for steel products. Global demand for natural resources including scrap recycled metals continues to provide significant demand for our products. China and India are creating the strongest demand and continue to apply pressure to commodities markets around the world. Limited supply and increased energy costs have also caused demand to increase. Although there are incremental fluctuations over time, all indications are that the foreseeable demand for our products and services remains strong.
The global demand for scrap metal has been rising in recent years and is likely to continue for some time. Worldwide consumption of scrap metal stood at 130 million tons in 2005, with china alone consuming 30% of that number. The figure is likely to grow in view of China's booming manufacturing, processing, and export activities.
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