The more we recycle, the less demand we put on our environment. Scrap metal has been one of the biggest exports out of North America in recent years, mainly because of the increase in demand for base metals (it’s far less expensive to recycle metal than it is to create from new). Scrap copper prices are an indicator of the general rise in scrap prices: current pricing is around $3.90/pound, in 2006 it was around $2.80/pound. The price of commodities are continuing to go up and the demand from the rest of the world is not showing any signs of slowing down.
Run intelligently, a recycling business can be quite profitable. The key is to be able to accurately grade the incoming materials so they can be properly sorted and processed. The Olympus Innov-X XRF Delta we looked at yesterday is the perfect tool for the identification and sorting steps of the process.
Recently, one of our editors had a chance to tag along on a visit to a local scrap yard. For readers who have never been to one, scrap yards are very cool places. Barrels and pilesof different kinds of metals are everywhere. To the uninitiated, it may appear like a big giant mess, but after being there a while, a kind of logic and order started to emerge.
Being able to use analyze scrap metal adds value at all stages of the recycling process. The scrap dealer can sort mixed scrap to separate materials of low value from materials with higher market prices. With more detail information, the scrap processor can better monitor the scrap going into and coming out of the melts.
Scrap is not waste. Recyclable Materials are commodities. When properly processed, scraps can be recycled into valuable raw material for use in manufacturing again and again. The recycling business is big business. Bringing technology to bear on it will make it more efficient, economical, and ultimately more profitable. That is a win-win for everybody.