The Steel Recycling Institute announced that the recycling rate for steel, which it says is the world’s most recycled material, has set a record.
An estimated 85 million tons of steel scrap was used by steelmaking furnaces in 2011. That’s 10 million tons more than 2010, and an overall reuse rate of 92 percent, the institute said.
“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 the Steel Recycling Institute. “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.”
More steel is recycled annually than paper, aluminum, plastic and gas combined, the institute said.
“While steel continues to be North America’s most recycled material, there is still progress that can be made,” Crawford added. “Educating recycling coordinators and consumers on the inclusion of materials, especially empty steel aerosol cans, will increase the overall tonnage for the industry. America Recycles Day is a great reminder to all of us that there is more that we can be doing to divert valuable resources from our nation’s landfills.”
This year’s America Recycles Day was Nov. 15.