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WEEE Recycling Guide

WEEE Recycling has become an increasingly vital part of the waste and recycling industry.  This guide, by ASM Metal Recycling, explains everything you need to know on the subject.

‘WEEE’ is an acronym standing for ‘Waste Electric and Electronic Equipment’.  This definition applies to all end-of-life electrical and electronic equipment (generally anything with a plug or battery), divided into either household or non-household WEEE.

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The World of Metal Recycling: The Facts

How much do we really know about the metal recycling world?  A competitive and established industry spanning the entire globe, it’s quite a complex subject.  However, there are a lot of statistics out there worth highlighting, especially to show the sheer value that metal recycling as a whole brings to the world.

The positive contribution of metal recycling in the UK is not to be understated!  The sector is a significant net contributor to balance of trade in the UK, helping to save vast amounts of energy, protect the environment and support a force of at least 10,000 British workers.  It is estimated that around 10 million tonnes of scrap metal are recycled in Britain every year.

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Scrap metal for cash: the law

Major changes were made to the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 1964 in 2013, with legislation revised to create a new criminal offence. Under the current law:

The aim of the change in regulations was to cut down metal theft – a low-risk, high reward enterprise for many criminals and less-than-scrupulous dealers.

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Why is it better to recycle copper?

For almost five millennia, copper was said to be the only metal available on this planet of ours.  First used by human civilisation over 10,000 years ago, global copper resources are estimated at around 5.8 trillion pounds.

The really interesting fact is that almost all of that copper is still in use today; that’s because copper’s recycling rate is greater than most other engineering metals.  In fact, the amount of copper recycled almost amounts to the amount of new copper that is mined annually.  This alone should demonstrate that there remains huge demand for copper, so there are many benefits of recycling your used copper.  This article delves a little deeper into the positive effects of reusing copper.

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How is the UK scrap metal industry today?

The scrap metal industry has long been a vital sector for the UK economy and it remains so today.  In the late 19th century, the United Kingdom was leading the world’s Industrial Revolution from the front, with almost half of the world’s steel and iron produced on its island.

However, after producing large amounts of metal goods to help the United States of America build its infrastructure, the British metal industry fell into decline until the 1980s when enterprises were privatised and experienced significant reorganisation.

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