Recycling News

Steel Recycling Is Encouraged

Steel is one of the most commonly recycled metal in the world. Steel is a ferrous metal, formed when carbon and other elements are added to iron to form an alloy. There are many types of scrap steel that can be recycled. Heavy melting steel, generally scrap metal from commercial or industrial sources is generally made up of thick scrap steel, including beams, plates, columns, and other similar parts. A typical example of these types of materials are scrap machinery and metal stampings. Steel is also widely used in the automotive industry, with old car bodies providing an important source of recycled steel (of course, wheels and interiors are not recycled.) Domestic scrap is also a common source of recyclable steel, including appliances such as fridges and washing machines, and construction components such as roofing irons and water tanks. Recyclable steel is also often found in concrete in the form of reinforcing bars or steel mesh. Other examples of recyclable steel include rails and tracks, manganese steel (hardened steel commonly used for high impact jobs such as cement mixing), and filings and scrap remains from drilling or manufacturing.

The most common sources for recycled steel around the world are steel cans, containers, automobiles, construction materials, and household appliances. In fact, a high percentage of these is often made up of recycled steel. A typical automobile includes about 65% steel, and a typical household appliance is about 75% steel. The vast majority of this steel (often as high as 90%, but generally in the 60% range) is recycled. In the case of steel, recycling makes economic sense. This is why the steel industry has been recycling steel for a century and a half! Recycling existing steel is cheaper and more practical (and better for the environment, or course) than mining for iron and going through the production process to manufacture new steel. Steel maintains its properties when it is recycled and the recycling process requires substantially less energy and money than refining iron ore and creating new steel. Recycling saves the steel industry about 75% of its energy consumption, enough to provide electricity to more than eighteen million homes for an entire year!

There are two types of steel manufacturing, basic oxygen steel (BOS) and electric arc furnace steel (EAF). Today, the process of making new BOS steel incorporates about 25% to 35% of recycled steel in the creation of the new BOS steel, which is more malleable thanks to its lower levels of impurities. EAF steel is made up almost entirely of recycled steel and is used in creating construction materials. Steel recycling is one of the most important things we can do to protect our resources and environments. Recycling one ton of steel saves 1.1 tons of iron ore, 630 kg of coal, and 55 kg of limestone, as well as the important energy savings that were mentioned above. This, coupled with the financial incentive of selling your scrap metal, should be more than enough to encourage anyone to recycle! Visit for more info.