You won't get 100 percent unrecycled new steel for the framework of your new building. That's because for every three tons of produced steel, two tons are made from recycled steel. Here in North America, recycled steel has always been a part of the steel-making process, which is why there's such a market for steel scrap metal like you'll find in cars, appliances, and construction materials.
In fact, according to the Steel Recycling Institute, up to 80 million tons of used steel scrap is recycled into new steel products every year. It's a continual process where one product is discarded and melted down into a new product. Here's four facts about recycling steel that you probably didn't know:
Fact One: The Furnaces
Steel production is up about two percent over a year ago. The basic process uses two kinds of furnaces to melt the steel scrap. One is an oxygen steel furnace which uses about 25 percent of scrap to make new products. The other is an electric arc furnace which uses 90 percent scrap. Which makes what kinds of products?
Oxygen steel furnaces turn iron ore into steel for bars and wire. An electric arc furnace produces many different kinds of products, especially stainless steel.
Fact Two: Recycled Scrap Steel Products
There's no end game for steel. It can be recycled as many times as needed without losing its physical properties. You'll find that leftover steel from that new bridge in town ended up in your car, your desk, and in the fire hydrant that your dog visits every day.
Fact Three: The Environmental Savings
The steel industry saves a whopping 2500 pounds of iron ore, 1400 pounds of coal and 120 pounds of limestone for every ton of steel produced. That's enough energy for 18 million homes to power up with. This means that North American steel production is also environmentally-friendly.
Fact Four: Waste Not
The federal government designates all scrap metal as solid waste. But all scrap metal solid waste is not considered hazardous waste. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) designates federal law regarding steel scrap, but states can further designate if solid waste is also hazardous waste or not.
Why These Facts Matter
Recycled steel keeps the economy moving and workers employed. There's no longer the need to mine raw material which is safer for workers and is easier on the environment. Companies don't have to pay to transport steel to blast furnaces, which holds down consumer prices. If we didn't recycle steel, you'd be paying premium prices for cars and appliances, as well as for damage to the environment.
To learn more about scrap metal recycling, contact metal recyclers in your area.Share
25 February 2020
About 10 years ago, I moved into my current home. Without being environmentally conscious at the time, I didn’t give much thought to how I moved my belongings from my old place to my current abode. However, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to appreciate the environment much more. I realize that we only have a certain amount of resources and should do everything in our power to conserve them. Nowadays, you can plan a green move easier than ever before. Some moving companies offer reusable containers for you to pack your stuff in. The amount of green transportation options is constantly increasing. On this blog, you will learn how to get green on your next move.