Is Steel Recyclable? Benefits and Options

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Is Steel Recyclable? Benefits and Options

Is Steel Recyclable?

The concept of recyclability is a vital one across many sectors of our world, and also within many of our most commonly-used materials. One great example here is steel, which is one of the single most-used metals in the entire world – is steel recyclable?

At Wasatch Steel, we’re here to provide clients around Salt Lake City and other parts of Utah with all their discount steel needs, allowing you to buy steel ranging from steel sheet and steel plate to steel bar, tube and more. We’re also here to tell you that yes, steel is fully recyclable – including all the various types of steel you may be considering. Here are some of the kinds of processes often used to recycle steel, plus some of the various areas of our world where steel recycling makes a big difference.

Kinds of Steel Recycling

When thinking about the kinds of steel recycling available, it’s important to realize that steel’s general value and quality makes its recycling processes a bit different than many other products. While many other such products will be sent to landfills or traditional recycling centers, steel will generally be sold to scrap yards – and those selling it can receive compensation.

Three main types of steel scrap will often be sold to these scrap yards for recycling:

  • Home scrap: Referring to steel waste that occurs within steel mills during production, such as trimmings and reject scraps. This is one occasional exception to the scrap yard sale concept we just mentioned – while home scrap will sometimes indeed be sold to scrap yards, there are also cases where it will simply be redirected back into the furnace of the steel mill for re-production.
  • Prompt scrap: Also known as industrial scrap, this refers to waste produced during the manufacturing of steel products and other similar items. This scrap will often include things like car bodies, appliances, pipes, beams and even railroad tracks.
  • Obsolete scrap: Finally, obsolete scrap refers to all other forms of steel waste that don’t fall under either prior category. Old household appliances often fall into this category, as do old junked buildings or structures.

Environmental Value of Steel Recycling

The impressive rate of steel that’s recycled in a given year in the US provides immense value to the environment and sustainability efforts. Nearly 70% of all steel in the US is recycled, making it one of the most highly-recycled items in the country. Plus, every ton of steel produced using recycled scrap rather than raw materials reduces greenhouse gas emissions by an impressive 2,500 pounds.

But it’s not just about emissions or environmental efforts – steel recycling also saves significant energy and resources on top of this. Using steel scrap for production often saves about 75% of the energy used to create steel from raw materials, and also reduces amounts of water and air pollution.

Global Steel Recycling

The same principles outlined above are true all over the world, in fact. While specific recycling percentages may vary – China leads the world with nearly 90% of its steel being recycled annually – there’s no doubt that steel recycling is a global phenomenon. It not only provides economic benefits, but also plays a key role in reducing climate change and improving overall sustainability efforts on the planet. So next time you’re done with your old appliances or other steel products, remember to recycle them rather than simply throwing them away – it makes a bigger difference than you might think.

Economic Boosts of Steel Recycling

Steel recycling isn’t just beneficial for the environment and sustainability efforts; it also provides significant economic benefits. In 2019 alone, the steel recycling industry in the US generated over $5 billion in total revenues and supported tens of thousands of jobs. Plus, on top of these direct economic impacts, there are ripple effects throughout the economy – from transportation to manufacturing – that further boost overall economic activity.

In addition, the fact that those recycling steel can actively profit from doing so provides a unique incentive for individuals and businesses to continue recycling this valuable metal. Many scrap yards will offer competitive prices for steel scrap, making it an attractive option for those looking to make some extra money while also contributing to environmental efforts. Overall, the economic benefits of steel recycling are significant and should not be overlooked.

At Wasatch Steel, we take great pride in providing our clients with high-quality, fully-recyclable steel products. We understand the importance of sustainability and are committed to being a part of global efforts to reduce waste and promote environmental-friendly practices. Contact us today to learn about any of our steel supply products or steel services around SLC and other parts of Utah!