What Happens to Scrap Metal if You Don’t Recycle?

Scrap Metal Yard

What Happens to Scrap Metal if You Don’t Recycle?

While you may think that tossing your scrap metal in the local landfill is an easy and harmless way to get rid of it, the truth is that when scrap metals aren’t recycled, they have a severe impact on the environment. From air pollution to water contamination, not recycling scrap metal can have a devastating effect. Let’s take a deeper look at what happens when we don’t recycle scrap metal. 

1. Environmental Pollution 

The most obvious problem with not recycling scrap metal is the environmental pollution that can result. Depending on the type of metal being discarded and how it is disposed of, it can leach into the soil, contaminate groundwater, and even enter nearby bodies of water like rivers or lakes. This can lead to severe problems like toxic algal blooms if left unchecked. Plus, burning scrap metal releases poisonous chemicals into the air, which can cause respiratory illnesses in humans and other animals. Every tonne of recycled Aluminium saves up to nine tonnes of CO2 from being released into our atmosphere and conserves five tonnes of bauxite ore. 

2. Loss of Resources 

Most metals are 100% recyclable. By throwing them away instead of recycling them, we are essentially throwing away potential resources that could be used again to create something new. When we don’t recycle our scrap metals, we are polluting our environment and wasting valuable resources. This means more natural resources need to be mined to meet our needs which will inevitably lead to further environmental damage. 

3. Lost income

Did you know that you could get a return from your scrap metal? Recycling can be an excellent way for businesses to save money and make more, rather than losing cash by hauling away or disposing of their metals. Taking advantage of this opportunity could help offset costs associated with construction projects.     

4. Energy Losses 

Finally, when we don’t recycle our scrap metals and have to extract more from nature, energy losses occur due to all the steps involved in mining for new resources instead of recycling what already exists. Across all industries combined, these energy losses represent around 8-10% of total energy consumption worldwide each year! This is an alarming statistic and should remind us all why it’s so important to recycle whenever possible. 

5. Overflowing Landfills

With ever-expanding amounts of waste produced, landfills are struggling to keep up. If we don’t take steps towards more sustainable solutions like recycling household products such as Styrofoam, batteries and microwaves – not only will the sites continue to overflow with rubbish, but toxic chemicals will be released, creating hazardous conditions on our planet. Therefore, each of us must take small measures to help manage these landfill sites for a better future.

6. Loss of Natural Habitat

Mining for new materials is not without its drawbacks. Beyond the obvious financial costs, labour and strain on resources, this type of extraction has a detrimental effect that lasts long after operations have ceased. As landfills expand to make room for more waste or mining disturbs natural habitats in search of raw material components, nature suffers as our footprint expands further into untouched areas around us.


As you can see from this overview, there are many negative consequences associated with not recycling scrap metal – from environmental pollution and resource waste to energy losses. If we want to protect our planet for generations to come, then everyone must do their part by recycling their scrap metal whenever possible.

​​Is your garage or shed filled with scrap metal that you need help with? Look no further! Allied Metal Recyclers will help eliminate those piles and put them to good use. Give us a call, and let our team take care of the rest.