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Steel Facts

  • More than 600 steel cans are recycled every second in the U.S. Enough steel was recovered from cans in 1997 (1.7 million tons) to build Eiffel Towers!Steel Recycling picture

  • Appliance Recycling in 1997 yielded more than 2.3 million tons of steel - enough to build 88 new professional baseball stadiums.



  • The 13 million cars recycled in 1997 would circle the earth more than one and three-quarter times.



  • Steel recycling is good business! The Auto scrap recycling business has over $3.7 billion in sales annually, and employs 40,000 people at more than 7,000 businesses in the U.S.



  • Recycled steel is used to make new steel products including packaging, cars, lawnmowers, appliances, and construction materials. All new steel products contain at least some recycled steel.



  • In 1997, Americans recycled 61% of their steel cans, 81% of their steel appliances, and over 97% of their automotive scrap metal.



  • Making new steel products from recycled steel instead of virgin ore reduces water use by 40%, water pollution by 76%, air pollution by 86%, and mining wastes by 97%.



  • Steel recycling saves energy:



  • It takes four times more energy to make steel from virgin ore than from recycled steel.



  • Enough energy is saved each year by recycling steel to supply the city of Los Angeles with almost a decade worth of electricity.



  • For every ton of steel recycled, 2500 pounds of iron ore, 1000 pounds of coal and 40 pounds of limestone are preserved.



  • The average American throws out about 61 lbs. of steel or bi-metal cans every month.