Metal Recycling Facts

Metal recycling is an important piece of our economy, every day people throw away recyclable materials they could be making a profit from.

Two kinds of recycled metal exist, ferrous and nonferrous. Ferrous scrap metal is made of iron or steel and is often salvaged from old cars, steel beams and railroad tracks. Nonferrous scrap metal is made of any metal other than iron or steel, most commonly aluminum from foil or cans.

  • 75% of all “trash” can be recycled.
  • Iron and steel are the world’s most recycled materials and among the easiest materials to reprocess.   This is due to the ability to incorporate magnets in the waste stream separation process.
  • 42% of crude steel is made from recycled material.
  • Americans use 100 million steel cans every day.
  • The steel industry’s largest source of raw material is scrap metal, which is commonly collected by recycling steel.
  • Recycling steel saves 75 percent of the energy that would be used to create steel from raw materials, enough to power 18 million homes.
  • Over 65 percent of the steel produced in the U.S. is recycled into new steel every year.
  • One ton of recycled steel saves 2,500 pounds of iron ore, 1,400 pounds of coal and 120 pounds of limestone.

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