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.