You’d think that after all these years of hearing about global warming, recycling would be an old news story. Yet, when you really look at the numbers, it’s clear that steel recycling continues to be very effective. That’s why it’s celebrating America’s 20th Annual America Recycles Day. Let’s take a closer look below at how steel recycling benefits the environment.
It’s true – recycling saves money. That’s not debatable. The cost of producing a steel item is much higher than producing an aluminum item. This difference in price is partly offset by the fact that steel is superior in many ways. Steel is stronger and less liable to be bent or damaged by weather, which means that steel will be able to withstand more wear and tear. It also means that the amount of recycled material that must be put into the landfills is lower, meaning fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
It’s true – recycling steel saves energy. While it’s true that the energy requirements for producing new steel items are higher than for other types of manufactured goods, the energy needed to transport the product from the mines to the market is much lower. As such, the amount of energy used to produce new steel products actually makes up for what has been lost in previous production. Steel producers have recognized that in order to remain competitive they need to invest in recycling and processing programs.
It’s true – recycling saves landfill space. The typical steel can weigh in at over thirty pounds. When it is melted down and made into steel cans, it takes up only five pounds of material. This is a significant saving on landfills and can help reduce the number of landfills that fill up over time.
It’s true – recycling saves money. When steel is recycled, it is used as raw materials in making other products. This makes the steel recycled into other products like panels for automobiles. This means that not only is the metal reused but it is also able to contribute to the building of new automobiles. Many automobile companies today use recycled content in their production process.
It’s true – scrap metal recycling programs have helped the nation’s automobile industry recover much of its investment in steel over the years. Today, almost one-third of all vehicles on the road are cars that have been produced in the United States with steel parts. This is another example of how steel recycling saves money while helping to protect the environment.