How Does Scrap Metal Recycling Reduce Greenhouse Gases?

In this current day and age, climate change is an increasing worry and is one of the defining issues of our time. Climate change is caused mainly by greenhouse gases, deforestation and other factors. The overall effects of climate change include rising sea levels, pollution and an increase in the Earth’s temperature. At Morecambe Metals, we are dedicated to preserving a cleaner future by offering scrap metal recycling. This service helps to reduce the volume of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere and therefore reduces the effects of climate change.

morecambe metals lorry

What Are Greenhouse Gases?

A greenhouse gas is defined as a gas that contributes to the greenhouse effect. The greenhouse effect is a process that occurs when gases in Earth’s atmosphere trap the Sun’s heat. The concept of the greenhouse effect is not necessarily a bad thing as it helps create a warm atmosphere. However, with the rate at which the greenhouse effect occurs, it is a significant contributor to global warming.

The leading greenhouse gases that contribute to the greenhouse effect and global warming are carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorinated gases. These gases trap heat by allowing sunlight to pass through the atmosphere but not allowing any heat to leave the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases are released through a variety of processes, including:

  • Agricultural Practices – Methane is released by cattle.
  • Land Use and Forestry – This is not a cause for greenhouse gas release, but with deforestation, there are fewer trees to absorb carbon dioxide, which means there are more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.


greenhouse gases

The Issue with Raw Materials

The primary way in which greenhouse gases are released is through burning raw materials such as natural gas, coal and fuel. These fossil fuels are burned to produce energy but are non-renewable sources, meaning that they are depleting rapidly. When burned, they release large volumes of carbon dioxide, the main contributor to global warming.

Another raw material that impacts greenhouse gas production is metal ore mining. The whole process, including the transportation and equipment required for mining, burns fossil fuels, releasing greenhouse gases. In addition, heavy machinery uses fuel to operate whilst explosives used to extract metal ore from the ground can release carbon monoxide, further contributing to global warming.


scrap metal recycling facility

How Scrap Metal Recycling Reduces CO2 Emissions

The process of mining ore for new metal, such as steel, produces many greenhouse gases via the resources and equipment it uses to extract the ore. If methods like ferrous metal recycling are used, there is no need to mine as much new metal. Recycling scrap metal is becoming a more common procedure. It allows us to save metal ore, which are already rare and valuable, whilst also reducing carbon emissions by nearly 86% in air pollution and 40% in water pollution. It is also a much cheaper method as mining metals comes with a significant cost.

The current statistics state that every tonne of scrap used for steel production avoids the emission of 1.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide and the consumption of 1.4 tonnes of iron ore, 740kg of coal and 120kg of limestone. With steel products having an average lifespan of 40 years, the future looks to see an increase in scrap metal recycling with large amounts of steel entering the scrap market in the next decade. Services like ours enable a significant reduction of steel industry emissions by ensuring your scrap metal is recycled correctly.


morecambe metals scrap metal

How Does Scrap Metal Recycling Divert Waste from Landfill

Landfill sites prevent significant problems regarding greenhouse gases as they passively release carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere. There are still around 500 landfill sites across the UK, significantly less than in previous years but still many more than we should be using. When scrap metal is dumped on landfill sites, it cannot be recycled appropriately and takes up large amounts of space, creating demand for new landfill sites.

Another issue with adding scrap metal to landfill sites is that there may be harmful pollutants within the metal. For example, scrap metal can contain toxic chemicals like mercury and lead, which can cause serious environmental harm and pose a risk to humans and animals if not dealt with appropriately. However, by using scrap metal recycling services from companies like Morecambe Metals, the amount of scrap metal sent to landfills is drastically reduced, reducing the number of landfills needed.

At Morecambe Metals, we offer a range of scrap metal recycling and processing services to help reduce greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere and reduce global warming effects. As part of our work, we offer non-ferrous metal recycling, which allows you to dispose of metal safely. For more information on scrap metal recycling, contact us today, and one of our team will be happy to help with your query.