There is a limited supply of metal ore on Earth. These resources will eventually be depleted.
Recycling metal is important because it:
- keeps metal available for future generations,
- reduces the greenhouse emissions that result from having to produce new metal from ores and
- eliminates the cost associated with having to produce new metal from ores.
No metal is currently entirely recycled. According to a 2010 study, 79% of lead in the United States was recycled, making it one of the most recycled metals.
Zinc was one of the least recycled metals (only 27% in the US was recycled).