English class questions

Changes to regulations on recycling and a demand for raw materials have combined to push up worth in the business of rubbish Rust, junk and bent metal are proving a rich seam for scrap merchants, who have become millionaires thanks to soaring metal prices and tightening of rules on recycling. The typical... show more Changes to regulations on recycling and a demand for raw materials have combined to push up worth in the business of rubbish

Rust, junk and bent metal are proving a rich seam for scrap merchants, who have become millionaires thanks to soaring metal prices and tightening of rules on recycling.

The typical British scrap merchant is now an affluent businessmen, the cart and horse abandoned in favour of a Bentley Turbo. Dealers' yards now contain high-tech salvage machines capable of stripping a car down to its components in seconds.

The largest scrap metal merchant in the UK is worth a staggering pounds 1.1 billion and family-owned firms across the country are being inundated with buyout offers from ambitious rivals and private equity groups.
Update: These firms are thriving because of soaring demand for raw materials in China and other rapidly developing economies, which has pushed up the price of all metals, including scrap.
Update 2: The global price of scrap is forecast to rise from dollars 382 (pounds 192) a tonne this year to dollars 418 next year - double the price it was five years ago.
Update 3: Historically, scrap merchants only had a regional focus because they had to know all the builders and factory contacts. As a result, you get family firms dominating in their own area but the high prices are encouraging them to sell out."

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Update 4: The scrap industry has been given a boost by new European directives on recycling. About three million cars are scrapped a year and 85 per cent of the content must be recycled.
Update 5: The easiest metals to recover are iron and steel, which account for 80 per cent of all the metal recycled in the UK.

COPYRIGHT - THE TIMES, LONDON
Update 6: (Adapted from the article, Booming Metals Market Turns Scrap Merchants Into Millionaires, April 6, 2008, The Times)
Update 7: - 4 Questions -
Q1. What has changed to help the value of rubbish rise?
a.Recycling regulations and demand for raw materials.
b.Global warming.
c.Population growth.
Update 8: Q2. The article characterizes a typical British scrap merchant as being...
a.poor and pitiful.
b.wealthy and successful.
c.dirty and ragged.
Update 9: Q3. European directives on recycling have boosted...
a.global warming.
b.interest rates and mortgage foreclosures.
c.the scrap industry.
Update 10: Q4. What role does China play in the British scrap industry?
a.None at all.
b.Its demand for materials increases profits.
c.It provides many landfill locations.
Update 11: Reading Exercise
Level: Four
Date: 21.04.2008
Update 12: ENG- CLASS
2 answers 2