metals filling up a landfill

What Are The Environmental Impacts of Metals in a Landfill

Metals fill up about 10% of all space in North Texas landfills. Yet, consumers can choose to help eliminate new metals being sent to landfills by recycling. You will want to help with this effort for many reasons.

Most Metals Are not Biodegradable

While metals can rust and corrode, they will not biodegrade. It is one of the reasons you see ancient gold and silver items when you visit a museum. Tin cans take about 250 years to decompose, while batteries take over 100 years. Therefore, keeping metals out of landfills is essential.

Release Toxins Into the Environment

When you throw away metals, they can release toxins into the environment. Arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, nickel, lead, and mercury are common heavy metals in landfills. The toxins from these metals are often released into the air, where they can reach farmland and enter the food chain. 

Other times, they enter waterways where they can have a devastating effect on fish and marine life. However, heavy metals can also enter your body, which can cause brain damage, kidney, and liver failure. Lead and mercury are particularly problematic when incinerated because particles are released directly into the air.

Even items that decompose in landfills are problematic. After a Texas rainstorm, the water flows through many Metroplex landfills. As it does, it picks up a unique substance called leachate, which is filled with toxins. Then, this polluted water enters streams and the Trinity River, where it is very harmful to fish living there and the animals living along the banks.

Habitat Destruction

When people choose not to recycle metals, workers in mines must dig out new metals. This can lead to habitat loss, which can have a devastating impact on the environment. Workers often experience respiratory and skin issues because of mining activities. 

Additionally, heavy metals often become airborne and fall on nearby grazing land, where horses, goats, and cattle eat the grass and become sick. Furthermore, some animals may disappear from the earth altogether because of habitat loss.

Produce Methane

According to the International Solid Waste Association, landfills may cause up to 50% of greenhouse gas emissions by 2025. These gasses will continue to change North Texas’ climate so that summers and winters are hotter. Additionally, a particular type of flameless fire often occurs in landfills, releasing dioxin that can enter underground water sources.

Find The Solution With Action Metals Recyclers

The answer to keeping metals out of Metroplex landfills is to call Action Metals Recyclers. We are committed to helping Metroplex communities stay cleaner and thrive economically through scrap metal recycling. 

Our company pays cash for steel, copper, aluminum, brass, and stainless steel. We also offer industrial site cleanup and are proud to work with several Metroplex companies to handle their industrial waste.

We are open seven days a week and promise that every transaction follows state and local ordinances.

Contact us today to learn more about our services.