The scrap metal industry at times gets a bad rap, whether it’s criminals trying to extract scrap metal out of an elementary school, or a church, or how about stealing an entire bridge?! The negative public perception that exists of the scrap metal industry unfortunately isn’t going away even as the price of scrap metal declines and cases such as these are unfortunately still occurring daily. While the bridge seems outlandish as a typical case, the theft of scrap metal does result in the reduction of the quality of our infrastructure, this negatively impacts society, and taxpayers . This is a recognized issue that Mark Carpenter, from the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries supports solving by working hand-in-hand with local and state governments via legislation, such as having state and municipal governments collect data from businesses within the industry to reduce the financial incentive of the theft of scrap metal.
“The recycling industry supports a uniform way of collecting metals theft data so that we can get an accurate picture of the problem and what are some of the most effective solutions to solving it” – Mark Carpenter, Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries
If the negative public perception of the industry is going to shift, regulations should be welcomed, and openly complied with. Unfortunately, examples of firms challenging legislation within the industry further fuels that negative perception, and this extends beyond trying to deter criminals. It also extends into cutting corners that will negatively impact the environment such as challenging objections raised by local governments with regards to the practice of leaving leaking oil filters within vehicles being processed by a shredder. This is despite the possibility of the oil contaminating the material coming out of the shredder and the possibility of the oil polluting the environment.
The thing is it doesn’t have to be this way. The scrap metal industry is primarily all about recycling, simply put: it’s about helping to reduce the carbon footprint of other industries. There’s plenty of benefits that arise from recycling scrap metal. For example, by simply recycling a single aluminum can: enough energy is saved to power a 100W light bulb, or power a PC for three hours. How about our current level of recycling steel? Currently, it saves enough energy to power eighteen million homes annually. As I’ve pointed out in the past, touting a scrap metal business as being ethically/environmentally responsible can be a great competitive advantage for it…..it certainly will be for the right suppliers, and I’m not talking about those interested in removing steel from a bridge.
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Lisa Crowell, News Desk