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A Brief History of the Scrap Metal Recycling Process

08 June 2021

The concept of scrap metal recycling is not new anymore. In fact, more and more businesses have embraced this specific process for them to be more sustainable in the long run.

Scrap metal recycling gained tremendous recognition in terms of achieving sustainability as it entails the process of collecting and reprocessing scrap metal products before selling or using them again to various industries. With the continuous recycling of these products, the need to utilise raw metal resources can be reduced significantly. The energy consumption, as well as toxin emissions, can likewise be minimised with scrap metal recycling. The overall supply of metal products can stay sustainable with recycling.

But when did the scrap metal recycling process start?

Ancient Times

As early as 700 BC, different civilisations have already started to recycle scrap metal products that are available at that time. For instance, Romans would often recycle old bronze coins and turn them into bronze statues as they believe that the latter can bring more monetary value than the coins themselves. Additionally, they would convert old jewellery and coins into weapons that are needed by the military. Other essential items such as cookware and jewellery were also produced out of scrap metal recycling.

But aside from the conventional items that were generated by scrap metal recycling before, some civilizations have also utilised the recycling process to create and build structures that are known today as historical and cultural feats. One structure that was created out of scrap metals is the Colossus of Rhodes. It was known to be made from reforged weapons that are filled with iron and bronze, which were recycled again a hundred years later. Scrap lead materials, alternatively, were used to create the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Some parts of the pyramids of Egypt were also made from recycled metals.

Industrial Era

The practice of recycling scrap metal continues towards the industrial era. Even though businesses before do not have a clear idea of how the process can benefit them, they still opt for recycling metals just to produce another set of products for industries and consumers. And with scrap metals, the printing press industry benefitted hugely as it often requires tons of printing devices to produce books, pamphlets, and other reading materials. Others have also followed the footsteps of the said industry and have incorporated metal recycling as part of their processes.

World War I and II

But the need for scrap metal recycling tremendously boosted during World War I and II. Wars can be truly deadly. Additionally, they can consume many valuable resources just to keep the supply of weapons and all other needed products stable.

Since raw metal materials take a lot of time to be extracted and processed, several countries opted for scrap metal recycling. Scrap metals were collected from households, businesses, and other possible sources during those times. During these times, battling nations saw the importance of metal recycling, launching huge campaigns just to encourage everyone to donate their metal products and materials.

Today, scrap metal recycling is conducted to keep the metal supply stable and help the environment become sustainable. For more information about the process, just contact us at Victorian Metal Traders.

 

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