Why All Canadians Should Recycle Their Scrap Metal

Rohan Mathew

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Canadians are pretty diligent when it comes to recycling. In some municipalities, citizens are expected to sort their recycling according to paper, glass, cans, and other containers – a task they gladly undertake. In other places, recycling is as easy as throwing everything into one big, blue can. 

Then there’s metal recycling. If you’re like many Canadians, you scratch your head at a piece of scrap metal. “Where is this supposed to go?” What are you supposed to do with those old appliances, electronics, metalworking scraps and batteries? 

Here’s what you should never do: throw them out. If you live in a big city like Toronto, take your metal to Toronto scrap yard to be safely recycled. In other parts of the country, find a local scrap yard that can accommodate your items. 

Why go through the trouble? Here are four compelling reasons to recycle your scrap metal. 

Preserve Canada’s Natural Beauty

Canada is a beautiful country, from the unspoilt old growths of British Columbia, the waving wheat fields of Saskatchewan, Ontario’s pristine lakes and Newfoundland’s craggy shores. Canadians have a duty to try and keep it that way for future generations. 

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When metal goes unrecycled, manufacturers must compensate by mining more metal. This perpetuates primary manufacturing, resulting in immense tolls on the environment. On the other hand, recycled metal can be put to use in several applications, preserving the earth’s natural resources. 

Further, metals take a long time to biodegrade in landfills. And adding to an already near-capacity landfill with recyclable materials puts added stress on the environment. 

Save Precious Energy

It takes a lot of energy to make new metal. According to some estimates, the energy Canadians save by recycling a single ton of metal can power a home for an entire year! 

At a time when the climate and resources are a large part of the national discussion, recycling your metal is a simple way to do your part. 

Help Hard-Hit Supply Chains 

A few months ago, Reader’s Digest ran a story about why it’s so hard to find new appliances right now. In it, the author investigated the hard-hit supply chains surrounding everyday household appliances in the wake of COVID. 

Recycling your scrap metal may help alleviate supply chain stress by reintroducing old materials back into the market. Certainly, it helps workers. According to the ISRI, the neighbouring US scrap industry generated nearly 500,000 jobs in 2015.  

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Make Some Money While You’re At It

The benefits of recycling scrap metal aren’t just environmental or selfless. You can make get money for scrap metal at junkyards. Take ferrous or non-ferrous metals to a scrap yard, and they will pay you for them. If you have old electronics, kitchen appliances, batteries or car parts, recycling can be a lucrative way to do your part. 

Canadians already recycle their paper and plastic – recycling your metal isn’t any more challenging. Plus, it can help preserve the environment, save energy, help Canadian workers and make you money.