Scrap metal recycling may seem like a modern movement, but the practice is actually centuries old. Over the years, the recycling process has evolved into what we know today.
However, the spirit of reusing unwanted metals matters more than modern conveniences. Let’s take a look at the earliest examples of metal recycling and how our industry became what we know today.
When in Rome…Recycle Scrap Metals!
One of the oldest examples of metal recycling stems from ancient Rome. According to historians, the Romans used to melt down bronze coins and create bronze statues. The belief was that large, bronze statues would hold more value in the long term than their single bronze coin counterparts.
Aside from statues, the Romans also turned to recycle during times of war and distress. During these times the Romans melted metals and jewelry, which later became weapons and other useful items.
Before the industrial revolution, metals weren’t as plentiful as they are today. Historic evidence shows that in Europe, people would melt down their bronze and aluminum to reuse them.
Recycling Surges in the United States
Abraham Lincoln’s southern port blockades during the Civil War started a recycling surge.
While cut off from access to metals, southerners donated scrap metals like gates, pots, pans, farming equipment, and spent ammunition to support their war efforts.
World War II
Although there was scrap recycling during World War I, World War II was where the practice proved its value to Americans.
When the United States entered World War II, the nation turned to metal recycling as a valuable wartime practice.
During World War II, Americans were still recovering from The Great Depression. Conserving the metals the nation had on hand was necessary. In response to the war, the government organized scrap metal programs that collected all amounts of tin, aluminum, copper, and steel.
According to an article from Farm Collector, the United States had enough scrap metal to build thousands of tanks, airplanes, weapons, and other materials.
These programs also encouraged children to donate their efforts and do their part to help America succeed in the war.
The 1960s to Modern Times
After World War II, the push for recycling scrap metal dwindled down. The 1950s are notorious for being a time of rampant consumerism. However, once the late 1960s arrived, so did the recent movement for mainstream recycling.
Since then, recycling has become a pillar of environmental conservation and economic growth. Scrap metal recycling creates over 500,000 jobs for Americans. It also keeps metal products at reasonable prices.
Continue the Recycling Revolution With Action Metals Recyclers
Scrap metal recycling is a practice that will continue to withstand the test of time. Make your mark in history and do something productive with the scraps around your property.
The team at Action Metals Recyclers opens our doors for your donations and will even collect your scraps on request. We are Dallas’ highest-paying scrap metal recycling facility and are ready to help you make a difference.
Contact us today to schedule your first drop-off.