A Sustainable Solution to Rising Prices: Metal Recycling

Recycling | 8 min Read
metal recycling

The effects of the economic recession due to the Covid-19 pandemic closures continue, although economies reopen in most regions of the world. As seen in previous similar economic fluctuations, commodity prices also increased remarkably. For example, the price of agricultural and energy commodities increased, but there was no significant gap between pre-pandemic levels even in energy. However, there is an ever-increasing commodity price in unprecedented amounts, namely industrial metals and there is a solution, metal recycling.

In 2021 steel prices boomed like other materials but only to be seen during the Great Recession in 2008. The pre-pandemic steel price has traded between $500 and $800 in March 2020. In July 2021, this price increased to 1800, which is 200% more! To give an example of industrial metals one by one, last May, copper was up 89%, iron ore was up 116%, and nickel was up 41%. The price increase of steel also affected many products, from cars to refrigerators. Then, why are precious metal prices rising, and what could be ways to deal with it? Let’s examine together!

metal recycling facts

Why Are Steel Prices Going Up?

Many factors play a role in steel prices, especially in the USA. The basis of this noteworthy change is the simple economic principle of supply and demand incompatibility. It is possible to summarise the reasons for the explosion in steel prices compared to other commodities and the reasons why cost and price are now detached as follows:

  • Supply-side Factors: Covid-19 has seriously reduced mining operations. The impact of quarantine restrictions on trade, congestion at critical ports, and fuel prices also affected freight rates for transportation. Also, production came to a standstill due to less demand at the pandemic’s beginning. Still, the increasing need for metal-intensive products grew with the changing consumption habits in the following period, catching firms off guard.
  • Storability: Metals are more suitable for storage than other industrial goods, making their prices more forward-looking and more sensitive to factors such as market expectations and interest rates.
  • Expectations for a faster transition to the green economy: Accelerating infrastructure and energy transition in line with the circular economy goals also boosted metal prices. The new structure will be more metal-intensive. For example, according to the International Energy Agency, there will be a 40-fold increase in lithium for electric vehicles and a 20 to 25-fold increase in graphite, cobalt, and nickel. In addition, infrastructure works will increase the need for iron ore, copper, and other industrial metals.

Steel prices will remain high in 2022 because the recovery from Covid-19 is planned together with a green economy structure, especially in the USA and the European Union countries. However, things get more challenging with these prices and low trade. Luckily, a sustainable solution comes to the rescue again, metal scrap recycling!

methods of metal recycling

How Does Metal Get Recycled?

We’ve all heard the three R’s rule, “Reduce, reuse, recycle.” With metal recycling, you can do it all. Through recycling, you reuse the metal in a new area and reduce extraction activities to protect natural resources. Thus, besides obtaining economic benefits by reducing production costs, you act in an eco-friendly manner by using less energy and forming low carbon emissions. So, how is metal recycled?

Methods of Recycling Metals

Almost all metals are recyclable with a few exceptions like radioactive metals. However, the most prone ones are ferrous metals like carbon steel, wrought iron, cast iron, and non-ferrous ones such as aluminum, copper, lead, zinc, and precious metals. Now, take a look at the basic methods of recycling metals.

  • Collection: The first step is to collect almost any metal material. You can use separate metal containers. As an alternative, some businesses establish a scrap yard to contain different metals.
  • Sorting: The primary purpose of this step is to determine the quality control and recyclable ratio in facilities. First, metals are separated from other materials at the waste stream. Then, separation according to type and cleanliness begins, i.e., purity.
  • Processing: In this phase, metals are squeezed or compacted. Thus, you can shred tiny metal pieces into even smaller pieces.
  • Melting: Each metal melts in a different furnace because different properties need different heat. Although this may seem difficult, the energy usage is much less than new metal production.
  • Purification: At this stage, the aim is not to leave any contaminants for high quality. One of the most frequently used methods is electrolysis.
  • Solidifying: Melted metals are transported to conveyor belts to solidify and cool. It is then specifically shaped for use in making new metal products.
  • Transportation: At the last stage in the recycling facility, packaging according to their size and shape begin to sent to the factories for making brand new metal products.

Although metals are suitable for recycling and are important for sustainable development, metal recycling is a complicated process. It’s time to introduce Evreka to make this process easier!

metal recycling logo

Facilitate Metal Recycling with Evreka Solutions

Evreka offers sustainable development and a more livable world through digital waste management solutions. Focusing on the global ever-increasing waste problem and the goal of creating new sources from waste, Evreka enables you to plan and optimize every step of waste management, from collection to recycling centers. Let’s look at Evreka solutions working for a sustainable future.

Asset Management

Thanks to the Asset Management module and Fill Level Sensors, you can maximize efficiency by minimizing time and cost loss in the highly complex collection stage. This way:

  • Managers can create a plan by viewing the fullness threshold and location of the assets.
  • Inventory management becomes easier thanks to real-time data.
  • You can minimize asset destruction and loss.

Operations Management

This module contains almost all the solutions of Evreka from Fleet Management to Engagement and facilitates administrative workload. This way, managers can:

  • View all feedback and data from citizens, customers, employees, fleets, and assets on a single screen.
  • Establish the right strategies thanks to reporting feature and mobile app.
  • Make significant changes when necessary.

Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) Management

We have seen how complex the metal recycling process is in facilities. MRF Management, one of Evreka’s most striking solutions, allows you to easily view every detail in the facilities and control each process step. This way:

  • Managers can maximize inbound and outbound control.
  • You can solve the biggest problem of the process, trackability, by displaying all the data.
  • According to different materials, assets, and other resources, managers can form customizable actions.
  • You can do all of this with a mobile app.

To take advantage of the best waste management solutions, contact us today, and be #AlwaysBetter with Evreka!


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