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Overall and Structural Steel Recycling Rates at All-Time High
Posted by Tasha Weiss on November 19, 2012 at 4:06 PM.

The recycling rate for the world’s most recycled material — steel — is at an all-time high of 92%, according to an announcement by the Steel Recycling Institute (SRI) in celebration of America Recycles Day last week.


More than 85 million tons of steel scrap was consumed by steelmaking furnaces in 2011 — an increase of nearly 10 million net tons from the previous year.


“This high level of scrap consumption is a reflection of the North American steel industry’s commitment to conserving energy and natural resources,” said Gregory L. Crawford, executive director of SRI. “The use of steel in everyday products — including packaging, appliances, automotive and construction — ensures quality while also supporting product stewardship, knowing that these products are routinely recycled at the end of their use, thanks to steel.”


structural-steel-recyling-rate-copy.jpgThe recycling rate for structural steel has held steady at an all-time high of 98% since 2009. (Click on the left infographic to see structural steel’s recycling rate over the past 15 years.)


Steel recycling rates are generally released up to 18 months following the end of the calendar year. They’re based on data released from the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) Annual Statistical Reports, U.S. Geological Survey, EPA Characterization of Municipal Solid Waste, National Automobile Dealers Association, Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers and the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries.


SRI also provides resources to help consumers learn about how and where to recycle their steel products locally. Visit the Steel Recycling Locator at for additional information.


To learn more about structural steel and sustainability, visit AISC’s website at

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