The European Union exported 946,565 tonnes of aluminium in 2020 alone. In addition, its members exported 605,648 tonnes of copper scrap. As a result, the EU remained the world’s leading scrap metal exporter that year.
As impressive as those figures are, many scrap metals don’t undergo proper disposal in the EU. For instance, only 35% of its e-waste goes through correct management and recycling. The rest ends up in landfills or sent to informal facilities in other countries.
The thing is, improper disposal of scrap metals can lead to adverse health effects. Moreover, they can cause environmental damage if mishandled or sent to landfills. Keeping piles of them in your place of business can even attract criminals!
Thus, it’s imperative to dispose of scrap metals using effective, environmentally-responsible methods.
This guide discusses the crucial facts you need to know about such strategies, so read on.
Identify Your Scrap Metal Sources
You can do at least seven things with metal scraps, from making furniture to new cans. It’s also because they have so many uses that you can find them in numerous items you use in your business.
Therefore, the first step to their disposal is knowing the objects that contain them.
The best examples are electronic equipment and gadgets, which contain metals, including gold. Indeed, in 2021 alone, the technology sector’s demand for gold totalled 330.2 tonnes. Of that quantity, 272 tonnes went towards the electronics market.
The rubbish produced by your business’ operations may also contain scrap metal. That includes aluminium and steel scrap, such as those generated by construction companies. They’re also common in automotive repair shops and other equipment manufacturers.
Collect and Sort Them
Once you’ve identified which items and metals are for disposal, organise them next. The best way is to separate them based on whether they’re ferrous or non-ferrous.
Ferrous metals contain iron, such as cast iron, sheet iron, and light iron. Steel, including all its forms, also falls into this group. Stainless steel, alloy steel, and carbon steel are a few examples.
Non-ferrous metals are those without iron, such as aluminium and copper. Bronze, lead, tin, and zinc are other examples.
The primary reason to sort your scrap metals is that the non-ferrous ones are often rarer. Thus, they typically draw higher prices when sold in the scrap metal market.
It’s also wise to designate bins specifically for scrap metals in your place of business. That can help facilitate ease of organisation and sorting later on.
Participate in a Take-Back System
A take-back system is an effective e-waste collection method implemented by tech makers. The idea is that manufacturers “take back” the products they made and are at the end of their lives. The goal is to minimise a business’ e-waste and its environmental impacts.
Germany is one of the EU member countries with mandatory take-back systems. This ordinance requires retailers and manufacturers to take back electronic equipment from consumers. They must also do so at no charge to their end-users.
So, if your business generates lots of electronic waste, join a take-back system. That ensures the scrap metals in your e-waste undergo proper disposal and recycling.
Work With Local Scrap Metal Yards
A local metal scrap yard is a business that buys scrap metal as is or contained in various sources. They usually pay per kilogram based on the type of metal scrap sold to them.
Most scrap yards accept metals from many sectors, such as construction and industrial. They also purchase both ferrous and non-ferrous metals. Some even buy entire junk automobiles and non-working but intact appliances and equipment.
Metal scrap yards often accept small amounts of scrap metals, and some offer to pick them up. They then collect their purchases into more sizeable quantities. Once they’ve gathered enough, they sell it to metal refineries.
Refineries, in turn, often only purchase metals in enormous bulks. You can work with them when disposing of scrap metals, but you must meet their required quantity. If you don’t generate tonnes of them, a metal scrap yard may be more suitable for your needs.
Partner With Reputable Recycling Facilities
The EU’s scrap metal industry consists of ferrous and non-ferrous scrap metal recyclers. These companies often recover and process scrap metal from end-of-life products and structures.
However, many recyclers also specialise in manufacturing products out of scrap. They transform the scrap metals into new raw materials.
Like metal scrap yards, some recyclers also offer commercial pickup services for companies. They may even leave containers at their customers’ places of business or job sites. That makes future collections of the recyclables easier and faster for both parties.
The recycler may pick up the containers at a scheduled date, depending on the agreement. They may also collect the containers as soon as they’re full and meet the minimum required volume.
What if your business regularly produces scrap metal but not in massive quantities?
In that case, look for a recycler offering drop-off services. They often accept lower quantities of scrap metals for disposal if taken to the facility.
Invest in a Scrap Metal Baler
A scrap metal baler is a machine that crushes, cuts, compresses, and bales scrap metals. One of its primary functions is to turn scrap metals into more manageable piles.
Scrap metal balers can handle scrap metals of all sizes, from metal cans to appliances. Some are even custom-made to deal with massive products such as entire vehicles.
There are also balers for specific industries, including plastic recyclers and paper mills.
There are many reasons to consider investing in a scrap metal baler, and below are just a few of them.
Can Help Improve Disposal Strategies
A scrap metal baler can help speed up your business’ disposal methods. One reason is that it allows for the metals’ quicker compression into dense bales. Baled materials, in turn, are far easier to organise, carry, load, and transport.
In addition, balers make it easier to stack compressed scrap metals for storage. That benefits your business as it cuts the space needed to store your recyclables. It’s even more advantageous if you’re a commercial space tenant, not an owner.
Avert Losses From Burglaries
According to the latest data, one burglary occurs in the EU every 1.5 minutes or 90 seconds. Some members even report up to 1,000 burglary cases a day. Many of those crimes target business premises.
Now, keep in mind that scrap metals, especially the non-ferrous ones, carry value. So, the more of them you have on your premises, the higher your likelihood of getting victimised. And the more valuable items you have in your place of business, the greater your losses.
Since you can dispose of scrap metals faster with a baler, you can quickly take them to your recycler. As a result, you’d have fewer valuables on your premises.
Minimise Haulage Costs
As energy inflation rates in the EU continue to rise, it pays to cut back on your business’ energy costs.
One way to achieve that goal is to reduce your transportation-related expenditures. Gas and fuel, after all, have had the highest inflation rates since the start of 2022.
A scrap metal baler can help since it cuts haulage costs from transporting scrap metals. Remember: it compresses scrap metals and turns them into stackable bales. Thus, you can fit more of them into a truck before bringing them to a recycling facility.
By contrast, loose scrap takes up more space, so you likely have to take several trips to bring all of them to a recycler. All those round-trips, in turn, can consume loads of gas or fuel.
Reduce Your Business’ Carbon Footprint
Aside from the waste your business generates, there’s also your carbon footprint. That’s the combined amount of greenhouse gases (GHGs) generated by your processes.
Fossil fuel consumption is among the most significant contributors to your carbon footprint. That includes the gas or fuel you use for transportation-related activities.
Since a scrap metal baler helps cut your fossil fuel use, it can also help lower your carbon footprint.
There’s an extra potential benefit to that: a possibility of garnering more clients.
Today’s consumers often look into a company’s environmental impact. Many of them then choose businesses with eco-friendly practices over those that don’t.
So, by striving to cut your footprint, you can do your part in helping the EU meet its net-zero GHG emission goals. At the same time, you can lower your business’ expenses and put what you save towards other core processes.
Moreover, being more environmentally responsible can attract new clients. Your existing ones are likely to stay too when they learn what you’re doing to go green.
Dispose of Your Scrap Metals Responsibly
As you can see, there are many responsible ways to dispose of your scrap metals. For example, you can participate in a take-back system or invest in a scrap metal baler.
The most crucial thing is to ensure you don’t discard and throw scrap metals. Otherwise, they might end up in landfills, polluting the environment.
Are you interested in learning more about scrap metal balers? If so, our team here at ANIS Trend is happy to help.
Contact us now to know more about our transport and baling solutions!