When you hear the phrase “green metal,” you might naturally assume that it’s referring to the shade of a particular metal or alloy. But while the term “red metal” actually does refer to some metals’ physical coloring, the “green metal” moniker has nothing to do with the metal’s appearance.
Some metals can indeed appear green in color, but, ironically, the most common of these is copper, the prototypical red metal. Instead, when we talk about green metal, we’re discussing the relatively low environmental impact of metals like aluminum.
What Makes Aluminum a Green Metal?
Today, it’s not uncommon for anything environmentally friendly in nature to be called “green.” Green vehicles, green energy, and green architecture are all examples of technology that’s friendlier to the planet.
This rings true in the case of green metal, as well. Not only is aluminum highly recyclable, but its production is responsible for fewer carbon emissions than most other types of metal. In fact, the International Aluminum Institute has noted that over 95% of North American aluminum production used hydropower in 2021, and that number is only growing.
As impressive as that may be, the primary reason for aluminum’s low environmental impact has nothing to do with the energy sources used to produce it. Aluminum stands out from other materials produced with renewable power as a true green metal because of its virtually endless recyclability. According to the Aluminum Association, approximately 90% of the aluminum “produced” in the United States is actually recycled.
Recycled aluminum also only requires 5% of the energy that creating new aluminum needs. This means that aluminum is far and away the most ecologically responsible choice of metal for many applications.
Common Uses for Aluminum
While its sustainability benefits are considerable, there are a wide variety of reasons for aluminum’s popularity that have nothing to do with going green. Green metal has characteristics that make it highly desirable in many industries, including automotive, aeronautical, and construction.
The most notable benefits of aluminum are its light weight, malleability, and corrosion resistance. For example, aluminum car parts weigh less than steel, and will never rust. This creates a cascading benefit, since lighter cars need less fuel to power them, creating an upward cycle of sustainability that begins with green metal.
Green Metal Recycling
As we mentioned above, recycling aluminum is a far more energy-efficient process than mining and refining new metal. Not only does this make it a great choice when buying metal, but it also means that any scrap aluminum you have carries significant value.
Combined with a comprehensive IT asset disposition plan, working with a recycling expert can ensure that your organization operates sustainably. The right partner can also handle all your metal and electronic scrap in a way that is not only green but saves your company money.
Get the Most out of Your Green Metal with First America
If you’re ready to take care of scrap metal and e-waste at your institution, First America Metal Corp. (FAMCe) can help. FAMCe has over 30 years of experience in eco-friendly nonferrous metal recycling and IT asset disposition. Our comprehensive knowledge and exceptional customer service have built our reputation as the leading company for your ITAD and nonferrous metal recycling needs.
Want to recycle your old metal and devices with confidence? Contact FAMCe today for e-waste disposal that’s ethical and secure.