RECYCLABILITY OF STEEL


The one thing people do not know about steel is that it is the most versatile material to recycle. Annually more or less 1 million tons of steel is recycled world-wide. For every 1 kg of steel that is recycled the total amount of greenhouse gases that is kept out of the atmosphere adds up to about 2 kg. When looking at the recyclability of steel a good comparison to make is that the steel frame of a basic residential house can be produced from the steel taken out of 6 old cars. Interesting enough 2 500 pounds of iron ore, 1 400 pounds coal and 250 pounds limestone can be converted from only 1 ton of steel. Recycling steel also saves a tremendous amount of energy for example Los Angeles can be supplied with a decade's electricity with the amount of energy saved by recycling steel each year. The energy used to produce one ton steel decreased with 50% over the years thanks to its recyclability. Steel that is made 150 years ago will still be recyclable today.

The fact that steel is the most versatile material to recycle makes it recognisable as a green building material and the favourite to use.

The steel that is bound to be recycled is crushed into large bales at a material recovery facility hereafter it is send to a steel foundry where it is put a long with the scrap. These bales and scrap is then melted and used to make new steel. Steel does not lose strength with repeated recycling.