In Canada, the metal recycling industry has greatly matured and advanced in the last three decades. The industry has blossomed, with the advent of sophisticated technology, state-of-the-art machinery, and an extensive network of collection, processing and distribution facilities.
With some 3000 companies directly or indirectly involved in metal recycling across Canada, almost every major city is being serviced in some way. Companies vary in size, and in their level of specialization, with smaller players offering more basic metal recycling services, and the larger, more sophisticated firms handling the full spectrum of service – from collection to processing to distribution.
As with all industrial sectors, the companies engaged in metal recycling are inter-connected, based on their specific specialty in the marketplace. Indeed, those involved in the domestic market operate on a different platform than larger processors who handle major tonnage and service the international markets.
For the average homeowner, metal recycling takes the form of curbside collection – but there’s a much bigger picture! Many manufacturers actually generate waste metal while producing their own products; cities and communities across the nation collect huge amounts of recyclable metal; and let’s not forget the tons and tons of obsolete fridges and stoves we dump every year.
Bottom line, metal recycling is a business enterprise, related directly to the supply and demands of our economy. But the benefits to the economy and to our way of life are even more far reaching: the demands on landfill sites are greatly reduced; the need to incinerate waste is substantially avoided; more and more products are using recycled materials in manufacturing; and there are thousands and thousands of new jobs created in many new sectors.