Recycling Steel


Scrap has become the steel industry's single largest source of raw material because it is economically advantageous to recycle old steel into new steel. In light of this, steelmaking furnaces have been designed to consume steel scrap.

In fact, in the past 50 years, approximately 50 percent of the steel produced in this country has been recycled through the steelmaking process. Thanks to the steel industry's impressive history of recycling, a wide variety of collection programs exist to recycle steel products.

What is Made of Steel?

Appliances: Sometimes referred to as “white goods”, appliances are systems of mechanical and electrical components encased in steel shells or bodies. Appliances include washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, ranges, air conditioners, refrigerators, freezers and water heaters. By weight, the typical appliance consists of about 65 percent steel. 

Automobiles: By weight, the typical passenger car consists of nearly 66 percent steel and iron. The steel used in car bodies is made with a minimum of 25 percent recycled steel.

Cans: Includes food, paint, and aerosol cans. Many times food cans are referred to as “tin cans” when in fact they are made from steel.

Construction Materials: Steel beams are a main constituent of construction materials. For information on recycling construction and demolition materials see Recycling Construction Debris web page: “Information on Recycling Construction and Demolition Debris”:


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