most common recycled metal is steel

The Most Commonly Recycled Scrap Metal 

Did you know that steel is the most commonly recycled metal used on the planet? It is found in automobiles, home furnishings, and everyday food packaging.  Steel is also used in huge industrial projects as well, such as bridge construction, commercial buildings, and pipelines.  The overall steel recycling rate in 2014 for construction was 98 percent for structural and 71 percent for reinforcement steels.  Through recycling, end-of-life products and structures can be made into new, raw materials with no degradation of its properties.  

Incentives to Recycle Scrap Metal

Many people are motivated by the financial incentives when it comes to recycling scrap metals.  Value can range greatly from metal to metal, copper being one of the most valuable.  The overall mission for recycling however, is to preserve natural resources while requiring less energy to create new products.  This offers a lower carbon footprint by emitting fewer dangerous gasses and less carbon dioxide.  Recycling can also cut down on production costs for manufacturing businesses while carving out room for new job opportunities within the companies.  

Some interesting facts about recycling steel:

  • Around 100 million steel and tin cans are used every single day in the United States.
  • More than 18,000 curbside, drop-off and buyback programs accept steel cans which provides 160 million American consumers with access to steel can recycling.
  • Recycled steel makes up just about 40 percent of worldwide steel production.
  • Close to 42 percent of crude steel in the United States is made of recycled components.
  • Steel makes up 95 percent of the recycling rate of automobiles, 70 percent recycling rate of steel packaging, and 88 percent recycling rate of appliances.

Can we move to using 100% recycled steel?

As important as it is to use recycled steel, it is actually necessary to continue to use some quantities of virgin materials.  This is because so many steel structures and products stay durable and in use for many decades at a time.  This creates ongoing steel demand for new materials.  The sources for steel scrap continue to be plentiful.  It surrounds us in our everyday lives.  From our home appliances and fixtures, to the buildings we work in and the bridges we drive over. 

Does your Arizona business create steel waste?

Give Consolidated Resources Inc a call at (623) 931-5009 and we’ll show you how you can efficiently recycle your scrap metal.

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The Top 5 Industries that Produce Scrap Metal

There are many different places scrap metal can come from.  Whether it’s a discarded washer and dryer, beams from an old building, or excess metal from a bridge.  Wherever these scraps come from however, it’s important to make sure they are recycled properly.  If scraps are tossed in a landfill, certain metals may contain toxins which can contaminate water and soil in that surrounding area. Industrial scrap recycling is important for economic and environmental reasons and can help to provide manufacturers with metals for everyday uses.  Scrap metals go through a process which includes collection, sorting, and shipping.  They then go on to a shredding and melting process that may include purifying the metals.  

Here are the top 5 industries that produce scrap metal:

The Auto Manufacturing Industry

Car parts are widely used in scrap metal recycling.  Steel and aluminum are some of the most common metals found within this industry.  In 2015, it was reported that the United States recycled 67 million metric tons of ferrous metal.  Automobiles were the largest source recycled, totaling a whopping 11 million cars.

The Construction Industry

An incredibly reliable source for scrap metals, the construction industry generates very large amounts of scrap from skyscrapers, residential and commercial buildings, and new homes.  Carbon steel is widely used within this industry.  Electrical components, piping, and wiring are common scrap metals as well; usually being made of copper.


Appliances can range from industrial kitchen equipment to home washer and dryers.  Consumer demand for new products such as air conditioners, ovens, and refrigerators is constantly increasing.  This creates an ongoing demand for new metals, showing the importance of recycling our old appliances.


Similar to the auto body and auto manufacturing industry, airplane manufacturing develops lots of leftover parts in their plants.  Common metals seen within this industry include aluminum, steel, and titanium.

Home furnishings

Home furnishings can include interior structures, furniture, and large appliances.  There are many different parts of the home that can create scrap metals that you wouldn’t expect.  For instance, storm windows are often made with aluminum frames.  Also, a screen door’s frame can be entirely made of aluminum which can be recycled.

The Importance of Recycling Scrap Metal

Scrap metal recycling lays the groundwork for a very powerful industry.  In 2014, U.S. nonferrous scrap had a value approaching $32 billion.  In 2015, the U.S. ferrous scrap industry was worth $18.3 billion.  End-of-life structures, appliances, and products can be made new again through this industrial process.  Scrap metals can be recycled time and again with no degradation of its properties. Offering a much lower carbon footprint, it provides the raw material for new products and is a much more eco-friendly way to mass-produce. 

Choose Consolidate Resources for your Scrap Metal Recycling Needs

Consolidated Resources, Inc. strives to provide the very best industrial metal recycling solutions to businesses in the Phoenix metro area of Arizona.

If your business produces scrap metals, give us a call at (623) 931-5009. We can review your waste and provide you with a custom recycling program that maximizes the value of your scrap metal. We look forward to discussing your waste stream needs!

Ferrous vs non-ferrous scrap metal

The Difference Between Ferrous & Non-Ferrous Scrap Metal

Both ferrous and non-ferrous scrap metals have value in today’s market. Consolidated Resources, Inc., is Arizona’s expert in optimizing industrial waste streams for the industrial and commercial community. Here’s a quick guide to determine if you’re company creates ferrous or non-ferrous scrap metal.

Ferrous & Non-Ferrous Metals

Both non-ferrous and ferrous metals have specific properties which determine the operations they are best used for.  One main difference is that non-ferrous metals do not contain iron and ferrous metals do.

Common ferrous metals include:

  • steel,
  • alloy steel,
  • carbon steel,
  • wrought iron, and
  • cast iron.

Non-ferrous metals include:

  • lead,
  • zinc,
  • aluminum,
  • copper, and
  • tin.

Precious metals like gold and silver are also considered non-ferrous.

We come across both ferrous and non-ferrous metals in our everyday lives.

Whether this be in the cars we drive, the piping in our homes, or tools and appliances we use.

Ferrous metals

Many ferrous metals tend to be incredibly durable such as steel used in manufacturing industries or cast iron used within stoves and machine tools.  Carbon steel is widely used within the construction industry and can be seen used in anything from kitchen knives to buildings and bridges.

Non-ferrous metals

Non-ferrous metals are much more malleable than ferrous ones are.  Metals such as aluminum and copper can be easily forged.  Aluminum is also lightweight and works well with aircrafts as well as small everyday items such as cans and kitchen utensils.  Lead is seen in electric power cables as well as in batteries and soldering.

Recycling Ferrous & Non-ferrous Metals

It’s really important to understand the differences between these two metals if you are interested in recycling them.  So whether you are in the construction industry, remodeling a home, or are replacing pipes, knowing which metals or electrical parts are recyclable and how they can be recycled is incredibly helpful.

Choose Consolidate Resources for you Ferrous & Non-Ferrous Metal Recycling Needs

Consolidated Resources, Inc. strives to provide the very best industrial metal recycling solutions to businesses in the Phoenix metro area of Arizona.

If your business produces scrap metals, give us a call at (623) 931-5009. We can review your scrap metals, and provide you with a custom recycling program that maximizes the value of your scrap metal. We look forward to discussing your waste stream needs!

Additional Ferrous & Non-Ferrous Metal Information


steel bridge

The Wonderful World of Steel – Identifying & Recycling

At Consolidated Resources, Inc., we believe it’s important to educate our current and future customers about the materials they can recycle. Many business owners aren’t aware of the financial & environmental benefits of recycling their metal scrap. In this article we offer a brief introduction to the various grades and common types of steel, one of the many materials CRI processes.  

There are over 3,500 different grades of steel according to the World Steel Association.  Each grade has its own individual chemical and unique physical qualities.  By appearance alone, it can be tough to differentiate numerous types of steel.  Grading systems are used to distinguish steels based on their specific properties.

Common Grades of Recyclable Steel

The four basic grades are:

  • Mild Steel – used in pipe and steel framing 0.05% to 0.3% carbon

  • Medium Carbon Steel – forging and vehicle parts 0.3% to 0.6 % carbon

  • High-Carbon Steel – springs and wire 0.6% to 1% carbon

  • Tool Steel – cutting and drilling tools 1% – 2% carbon

The surface of steel must be protected, galvanized, or painted as it can easily rust. One common recognizable steel item is a galvanized trash can.  With ten percent or more chromium added to prevent rust, stainless steel, which is a carbon steel, can be used to hold hot liquids and food items.  It’s very prevalent within restaurant kitchens including countertops, silverware, and pots and pans.  Popular for its corrosion resistance, it’s about 200 times more resistant to corrosion than mild steel.

Carbon steel is widely used within the construction industry and can be used to make bridges, pipelines, and skyscrapers.  The inexpensive price point makes it easier to be the main component of such large projects.  Carbon steels account for 90% of total steel production.

Alloying elements which can be silicon, nickel, copper, and aluminum make up some of the internal components of alloy steels.  You can find alloy steels within auto parts, electric motors, rails, construction equipment, and wires.

Tool steels are often used in cutting and drilling equipment. They consist of cobalt, tungsten, molybdenum, and vanadium in shifting quantities, depending on needed staying power and heat resistance.

For more information about identifying different types of steel, visit these resources:

At Consolidated Resources, Inc., we strive to provide the very best industrial recycling solutions to Arizona businesses. If your business has any of the grades of steel described in this article or other scrap metals that can be recycled, give us a call at (623) 931-5009. Our goal is to increase the value of your scrap metal. We look forward to discussing your waste stream needs!

Impressive Facts About Recycling Metals

It’s easy to say you should start recycling because it’s good for the environment however making the commitment can be difficult. There are a variety of reasons recycling doesn’t happen as much as it should, but if we look at some of the benefits of reusing metals, it begins to make sense. Metals are a finite resource and mining new, virgin materials is not only costly and hazardous, but depletes natural reserves.

To help you understand how your business can make an impact, some of the benefits of recycling metals are listed below:

  • Recycling scrap metals may cut greenhouse gas emissions by 300-500 million tons according to the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries. Greenhouses gases may influence climate change and increase the levels of pollution in cities that produce metals. The production of new metals generates far greater volumes of these gases and pollution than using recycled metals.
  • When comparing the amount of energy required in processing recycled metals vs. producing new metals from raw materials, the difference is significant. There is more than a 90% energy savings when using recycled aluminum and copper and more than a 50% savings when using recycled steel. Lower energy costs result in lower productions costs which are passed along to the consumer.
  • According to the National Recycling Coalition, the recycling industry helps the economy by generating more than $230 billion annually and employing more than a million people across the country.
  • Not only does recycling help conserve the metal resources, but it also helps save other natural resources that are used in production. For example, recycling one ton of steel helps conserve 2,500 pounds of iron ore, 1,400 pounds of coal and 120 pounds of limestone.
  • Utilizing scrap metal cuts down on over 90% of mining waste and uses 40% less water. These benefits drastically help the environment, especially in regions where water is not an expendable commodity.
  • Recycling one soda can worth of aluminum helps conserve enough energy to power a 60-watt light bulb for more than four hours. 20 recycled aluminum cans are created with the energy that is required to produce one can using raw materials.
  • The United States recycles more than 150 million metric tons of scrap metals annually.
  • Recycling metal helps support thirty-six times more jobs than if these materials were being sent to an incinerator and six times more jobs than if it were just being sent to landfills.

As you can see, there are significant environmental benefits to recycling metals but also significant economic impacts as well. Energy conservation, less landfill space, pollution reduction, job creation and increased profits are directly related to the amount of metals that are recycled each year. We at Consolidated Resources believe in the benefits of recycling not only metals but all reusable materials. To learn how we can help you with your businesses unique recycling needs, visit our website.

3 Great Benefits of Recycling Aluminum

When it comes to the most abundant metal found naturally on Earth, there is only one clear answer: aluminum. Putting that into perspective, the amount of aluminum makes up about 8% of the Earth’s land mass, which makes it extremely common. This may not seem that impressive, but when you figure that aluminum weighs 1/3 of gold or copper for the same volume, it is easy to comprehend just how much aluminum is present.

While aluminum is very common, recycling efforts are still important. Just like all naturally occurring elements and minerals on Earth, there is a limited amount. While this amount is nearly incomprehensible as discussed above, the human race has had a significant impact on the natural resources and environment since our beginning.

Now, more so than ever, the efforts made to increase recycling awareness and participation are crucial. Environmentally and economically, recycling aluminum presents multiple benefits.

Here are some of the top facts and benefits of recycling aluminum:


Not only is aluminum valuable because it is a metal, but it is also the most valuable item in your recycling bin due to the easy of reprocessing recycled materials vs. processing raw materials. The reason this is true is that it takes roughly 95% less energy than using virgin ore.

To put this into comprehensible terms, using one ton of recycled aluminum saves over 1,600 gallons of oil. This is a huge benefit of recycling when thinking about the carbon footprint and burning of fossil fuels. When it comes to money, the aluminum industry pays out over $800 million a year for recycled cans alone.

The scary part of this is that aluminum cans only have a 67% recycling rate (lots of money thrown away each year in cans alone). The current price of aluminum is just over $0.90/lb and the prices of recycled aluminum (depending on the type) are less.

Cycle Time

In just as little as two months, that aluminum product that you recycled can be processed and reused. Depending on the alloy made with the aluminum, the process length can vary but the cycle time is extremely short.

If the aluminum is going to be repurposed into the same type of products, the process is much simpler and basically only requires melting of the recycled aluminum. However, if new alloys are to be made from different aluminum alloys, the materials are sent to refiners that have special equipment for melting and separating the raw materials.


Perhaps one of the greatest advantages of recycling aluminum is the fact that it can be infinitely recycled and reused. Roughly 75% of all the aluminum that has been produced in the last 100 years is still in use today. No other material can boast such an incredible figure.

This is only possible because aluminum never loses any of its properties or characteristics, despite the number of times it has been recycled. Because aluminum is always used in alloys, the durability is great because it is strong, lightweight and resists oxidation and corrosion.

There uses for aluminum are tremendous and the main industrial uses are for transportation (cars, trains, etc.), construction (due to its strength to weight ratio), electrical (lightweight and extremely ductile) and consumer goods.

If your Valley business produces recyclable aluminum scrap and you have been searching for a better recycling solution, call Consolidated Resources, Inc. We have been serving the Valley and Arizona for nearly 30 years and pride ourselves on custom-tailoring recycling solutions ranging from storage to comprehensive service. So let CRI help your business save money and save the planet.