recycling of metals
Recycling isn't always a good thing
it isn't just 're-using' the metal, it requires obtaining the thing that the metal is in (logistics), stripping it out of the thing, isolating the metal you want, processing it for new use (simplified).
So, you then have 2 scenarios:
1. Recycling/Reprocessing metal A requires less resources / pollutes less than digging up and refining from scratch.
2. Recycling metal A requires MORE resources / pollutes MORE than digging up and refining from scratch.
If its 1, then recycle away :D.
If its 2, then be careful of recycling away, as you are polluting more than you have to, but at the same time you get that warm fuzzy feeling from recycling and saving the planet (so you think you are doing good, but you aren't).
There is a question of where to put the thing with the metal in it after it is no longer required wanted (like an iphone 4s now that iphone 5 is out).. if scenario 1 and 2 are roughtly the same you may make the suggestion that scenario 1 is better as it cuts down on needed space for landfills. Or you could make the point that if we put it somewhere with others like it then we will have a known source of materials in the future...
Philosophical question: If at some point in the future we start to mine landfills for materials, are we then recycling previously abandoned waste, or are we extracting ore from the ground, or both?