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Pros and Cons of Extracting Metal Versus Recycling Scrap Metal

by Jennifer Dalcour from

Metal is extracted from the soil. It is then refined, processed, and transported to various manufacturers where it will undergo further procedures to become products. However, these processes do a lot of damage to the environment. To offset the damages, we are encouraged to recycle metal.

Below are the pros and cons of extracting raw metal versus recycling scrap metal.

Extracting Raw Metal
Advantages: Raw metal can be a source of valuable revenue. It can be exported and sold to countries that consume metal the most, such as China and the United States. Extracting raw metal also creates jobs for a lot of people, so does processing, refining, and transporting metal. This will also prompt an increase in facilities such as hospitals, transport systems, etc. near mines. Companies that deal in metal have to pay taxes, and the money coming from the taxes can help improve the economy of not only the local community but the government as well.

Disadvantages: Extracting metal harms the environment. Not only does it cause soil, water, and air pollution, but it also causes noise pollution. If the company doesn’t do anything to alleviate pollution, the community will suffer the consequences. Extracting metal also helps deplete natural resources. After all, the process of turning raw metal into end products require the use of other natural resources such as other metals, fuel, oil, wood, etc.

Recycling Scrap Metal
Advantages: The biggest advantage of recycling metal is that it is very earth-friendly. There’s no more need to extract metal since the materials are readily available in the form of scrap metal. Furthermore, since scrap metal has already been refined and processed, it’ll need fewer resources to recycle them and turn them into the desired end product such as metal garages and sheds as well as metal carports and barns. Aside from this, using recycled metal also reduces waste and garbage accumulation in landfills, which is one of the biggest problems right now. By recycling metal, the risk of polluting the land, soil, and water is greatly reduced. Finally, recycling metal is less expensive and more economical compared to extracting raw metal. It also needs less energy, helping us save precious fuel.

Disadvantages: It cannot be denied that recycling metal creates fewer jobs compared to extracting the natural resource; however, the advantages of this still far outweigh the disadvantages.

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