15 Fun Facts About Scrap Metal

For some of us, collecting scrap metal is a chore; for others, it’s a lot of fun (and profitable, to boot). No matter how you look at it, gathering scrap metal can be a lot more fun and less of a chore if you know these 15 fun and exciting facts about scrap metal:

  1. The English word “metal” is derived from Ancient Greek metallon, “mine, quarry” whilst the word “scrap” can be traced to Old Norse skrapa “to scrape.” It seems that scrap metal has been sought after for quite some time.
  2. Australia boasts a scrap metal recovery rate of as high as 90 per cent, coming from over five million tonnes of metal recovery and recycling. That’s substantially more than in many other nations, such as the United States, which recycles about 52 per cent of its scrap metal.
  3. One gram of gold requires at least one tonne of mined ore to produce. That same quantity can also be found by recycling 41 mobile phones due to the high presence of precious metals (including gold) within.
  4. Recycled steel is more environmentally friendly than freshly mined ore to make new steel by about 75 per cent. This is because many of the phases of the extraction and manufacturing process are eliminated. The best part? Recycled steel is smelted down and reforged and is thus no different in its quality when compared to new steel.
  5. Doorknobs and handrails are often made of brass. Why? Brass has a particular characteristic of being antibacterial, making it ideal for high-contact areas to reduce the spread of germs and viruses.
  6. Got pungent garlic or onion smell on your hands from last night’s lasagna? Rub it against a stainless steel surface and the smell will go away.
  7. Cutlery in centuries past (and still to this day in some households) was made of silver, albeit not from pure silver as this would be too malleable. This silverware wasn’t just for impressing guests, however: silver has the ability to neutralise bacteria, even bacteria that were once thought to be only removable with powerful cleaning agents.
  8. The Earth’s core contains enough gold that a 0.5m high layer could coat the entire surface of the planet.
  9. Iron is not only present on our planet in large quantities, but it’s also the most abundant metal in the known universe.
  10. Your aluminium cans do get recycled. In fact, they can be collected from the kerb, smelted down, and reforged into brand new cans and back on store shelves within as little as 60 days.
  11. Steel and aluminium that makes its way into landfills will break down. The problem is, however, that steel cans can take about 50 years to break down whilst aluminium can take over two centuries.
  12. If two pieces of uncoated metal were to touch in outer space, they’d bond together in a process called cold welding. This doesn’t happen here on Earth because oxidation from our atmosphere creates a barrier preventing this from occurring.
  13. The first metal known to humans was gold, perhaps due to its easily workable nature and its ability to create jewellery and ornamental trinkets.
  14. The earliest known use of gold as a monetary currency was in Ancient Lydia, home to king Croesus from whom we have the saying “rich as Croesus.”
  15. Recycled steel and scrap metal recycling are crucial to maintaining Australia’s economy in terms of construction and development as well as lessening dependence on having ore shipped in from abroad. Do your part for the environment and the country and recycle your scrap metal today.

Melbo Scrap Metal

Why not turn your scrap metal in and make some cash whilst you’re at it? Melbo Scrap Metal accepts all sorts of metal scrap, so bring it in to us and we’ll recycle it for you.

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