Where Does Manufacturing Waste Go?
By: Chris Newhouse
Have you ever wondered what types of waste are generated by manufacturing? Where does it all go?
Larger manufacturing operations can generate millions of pounds of waste every month! It’s critical that behind the scenes in every plant, a well-organized and cost-efficient process is in place to handle and remove a company’s waste. Waste materials include metal, cardboard, plastics, trash, and many other things.
For example, let’s look at the metal waste stream coming out of a machine shop. The scrap metal waste will usually be handled by a recycling company that partners with the manufacturer. The recycling company will pay the machine shop for the scrap metal material, then take it to a plant for sorting and processing. Then, the recycler will look to sell the material to a consumer.
Then, the consumer will remelt the metal into ingots, sows, or billets to prepare it for consumption in the economy. Sounds simple, right?
On paper, yes, it’s a simple system. But every operation is different. There are thousands of different alloys, types of machine tools used to manufacture parts, and factory layouts to consider. A recycling expert helps companies navigate these nuances to ensure they are handling their material efficiently—and maximizing the value of that material.
Recycling and waste management are vital pistons in America’s manufacturing economy, and metal recycling saves millions and millions of pounds of material from winding up in landfills every year! The next time you’re on the expressway or interstate, look at the trucks you are sharing the road with. We’d bet that you’ll begin to notice that many of them have scrap peeking out of the top or a recycling company’s logo on their sides.
Could your manufacturing operation benefit from recycling expertise? Your team at Shapiro Metals specializes in scrap recycling programs as well as comprehensive sustainability and waste management solutions. Let us show you how our expertise can help by finding your Shapiro rep today!