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US Steel Recycling 2008 Record High of 83.3%

December 20th, 2009 · 1 Comment

The US steel recycling 2008 record high of 83.3 percent or an equivalent of 82 million tons of domestic steel scrap recycled.

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – The US steel recycling rate in 2008 reached a record high of 83.3 percent or an equivalent of 82 million tons of domestic steel scrap recycled.

The US steel recycling statistics for 2008 was recently released by the Steel Recycling Institute from various data provided by scrap processors, steel manufacturers, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the U.S. Geological Survey.

“All new steel made in North America contains a minimum of 28 percent steel scrap with some processes using upwards of 90 percent steel scrap to make new steel,” said Bill Heenan, president of the Steel Recycling Institute. “Steel continues to be recycled at a higher volume than paper, plastic,glass, copper and aluminum combined, and the steel can still holds the distinction of being food’s and beverage’s most recycled container.”

Except for slight decreases in 1998 and 2006, US steel recycling has steadily increased from a moderately high rate of 66.4 percent in 1988. Appliance recycling rate has grown to a formidable 90 percent in 2008 from a low of 20.4 percent in 1988.

Metal container recycling has also been a major contributor – growing to 65.2 percent from a low rate of just 15 percent twenty years ago. The fastest growing segment are the construction reinforcement metals jumping to 70 percent in a period of 10 years since 1997 when the rate was a only 40 percent.

Steel recycling plays an extremely important role in reducing landfill waste, conserving resources, and decreasing energy consumption. The SRI report notes that for every ton of steel recycled, 2500 pounds of iron ore, 1400 pounds of coal and 120 pounds of limestone are conserved. Recycling has been instrumental for the US steel industry to reduce energy usage by 33 percent since 1990 along with a 45 percent reduction in greenhouse gases per ton since 1975.

Read: 2008 Overall Steel Recycling Rate News Release from the Steel Recycling Institute (PDF)

Tags: Recycling

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Cash 4 Gold // Jan 22, 2010 at 10:13 am

    You can sell, and in effect, recycle any unwanted precious metals at several new companies that have appeared in the UK. I’m sure it won’t be long before more ‘standard’ metals will be taken by such places as the raw materials gradually diminish. I guess the flip-side to that though is that people will be more inclined to recycle old metals rather than just bin them if they can get some money for them, thereby ensuring a supply of such metals.