Why you should recycle non-fibrous metals
Non-fiber materials can be recycled, including non-metallic metals like aluminium, which can be used to make more durable clothing, furniture, and appliances.
But recycling these materials can have a significant impact on landfills and the environment.
For example, some metals like copper can be extracted from landfuses to make solder, which is used to solder your computer.
A study by the Pew Charitable Trusts found that only one third of landfares that receive copper from the landfill are actually reclaimed.
So the metals themselves are unlikely to be a significant source of waste.
Al Jazeera’s Ali Al-Shabaab interviewed three experts on how to recycle nonmetallic materials, including metals, for a series of programmes that will air in the coming months.
Al-Hassan Al-Jadid, a professor of economics at the University of Cambridge, said that recycling metals is a “major source of CO2 emissions”.
The metals in question are aluminium, copper, and lead.
But they also come with a few environmental concerns, like the fact that they can leach from the soil into the air.
Al Khader, a senior research associate at the Institute of Environmental Sciences in Abu Dhabi, said the metal leaching can have significant environmental impacts.
“The metal leaches into the atmosphere from the earth surface and also can enter the atmosphere by rainwater,” he told Al Jazeera.
“If the soil is contaminated by soil leaching, that means that you end up with a whole set of issues.”
Al-Khader said that metals should be considered a source of pollution, even if they’re not used.
“What we are doing here is saying that metals, when they’re being used, are not a source for pollution and that if they are recycled they should be recycled as such,” he said.
Al Arabiya’s Farida Abduljabar has more on the issue.