Menu Close

Steel Recycling Facts

America Recycles Day: November 15, 2016

When you look at the facts, it is clear that steel recycling is extremely effective. As we celebrate the 19th America Recycles Day, let’s take a closer look at the ways steel recycling helps the environmental.

Why Steel Leads the Recycled Materials Pack

Graphic illustration of red iron steel beams hanging from a crane with caption: "Steel: the World's Most Recycled Material"Examine these steel recycling facts:

100% RECYCLABLE. Unlike lots of construction material recycling, steel is 100% recyclable.

VOLUME. The staggering amount of steel recycled each year bogglers the mind. The U.S. recycled 67 million metric tons of steel last year. That is more than the total amount of recycled aluminum, glass, paper, and plastic combined.

ESSENTIAL. Steel scrap is an indispensable component in the making of new steel.

LONGEVITY. While other industries joined the environmental bandwagon in the past two decades, the steel industry in North America began recycling over 150 years ago.

EFFICIENT. Today’s steel is 30% stronger and requires 34% less energy to produce than the steel made 40 years ago.

EMISSIONS. Recycling one ton of steel cuts the CO2 emissions 80% over producing virgin steel.

Through recycling, U.S. steelmakers save enough energy each year to supply Los Angeles with almost ten years of electricity. Each ton of steel recycled saves 56% of the energy required to create new steel.

MAGNETIC PROPERTIES. There is no expensive and time-consuming hand sorting required to remove steel scrap from the solid waste stream. Huge electromagnets make separating, moving, and handling steel scrap simple and economical.

METALLURGICAL PROPERTIES. The incredible characteristics of steel allow unlimited recycling— without any loss of strength. Now that’s sustainability!

RECYCLING RATES. Steel’s impressive recycling record keeps plenty of metal scrap available to make new steel. Look at these steel recycling rates:

  • 72% of cans and packaging
  • 90% of all appliances
  • 93% of automobiles
  • 98% of structural steel

RESOURCE CONSERVATION. Each ton of steel recycled conserves:

  • 2500 pounds of iron ore
  • 1400 pounds of coal
  • 120 pounds of limestone
  • 6 gallons of oil
  • 10.9 million Btu’s of energy
  • 4 cubic feet of landfill space

BUILDING. On average, structural steel today contains 77% recycled metal.

Be a Part of the Green Solution

Millions of Americans take part in America Recycles Day programs each year. The activities strive to entertain, enlighten— and encourage increased recycling by consumers and businesses.

Pledge to recycle more. Buy environmentally friendly products made of recycled materials. And choose recycled, pre-engineered steel buildings for all your construction projects.

For more information about RHINO’s green, eco-friendly metal building systems, and to learn about construction material recycling, please call RHINO at 940.383.9566.

Our steel buildings specialists share tips on designing your structure, help you make informed choices on options— and provide fast, friendly quotes on any low-rise construction projects.

RHINO ships steel building kits all across the U.S. Canada, and Mexico.