pile of trash

What Happens with My Junk If I Don’t Recycle It?

Here on our blog, we talk all the time about the importance of recycling and the different reasons why it’s crucial for a healthier planet—not to mention for putting more money in your pocket! What we haven’t talked much about is specifically what happens when you don’t recycle your scrap metal and electronics. After all, we strongly believe in the education behind our mission, because understanding what’s at stake, environmentally speaking, is a strong motivator to encourage responsible action. 

Here we explore what happens when you throw your metal scraps into the trash rather than recycling them. These are the consequences that our planet faces when we don’t recycle our metal junk.

Overcrowded Landfills

Our landfills have already become overcrowded with both trash and recyclables. In fact, the US creates more than 258 million tons of municipal solid waste each year, and the 2,000 active landfills that hold all of this waste are reaching capacity, according to a report from the Solid Waste Environmental Excellence Protocol. Meanwhile, the amount of solid waste that we produce continues to rise, which means that we’re headed for an environmental crisis if we don’t create wide-scale change. 

More Pollution

Throwing away your metal scraps and electronics, rather than recycling them, greatly increases our pollution levels. Because electronics are full of toxic chemicals—including lead, mercury, cadmium and arsenic—they can be absorbed into our water supply and soil, therefore creating potentially fatal risks for humans and all living species. By not recycling your junk, you also create the need for new manufacturing and mining of raw materials, which leads to more greenhouse gas emissions as well as air and water pollution.

Squander Natural Resources

Your junk doesn’t just appear out of thin air, of course. Metals are mined from raw materials in the earth. When you throw your junk into the garbage—rather than letting a metal recycling center responsibly repurpose your electronics and metal scraps—it sits in a landfill, serving no purpose. That means that more metal must be mined, depleting already limited natural resources. 

How You Can Help the Environment by Recycling Your Junk

Thankfully, it’s easier than ever to get recycle your junk—from leftover construction debris to metal scraps to used appliances and electronics. By getting rid of your waste the responsible way, you can feel good about your part in helping to reduce pollution and conserve natural resources. Plus, it’s easier than you think, and you can even make money by recycling these materials. If you’re looking to help preserve a healthy environment by getting rid of your junk responsibly, we’re here to help take those scraps off your hands—we even offer payment for materials and offer pickup service, too! Gardner Metals has been a local and family-owned Austin recycling center for the past 50 years. Contact us today, and feel good about the impact you’ve made by recycling!