The Cold, Hard Truth About Recycling Steel

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We’ve come across quite a few creative uses of unconventional materials lately, from shipping containers made of mushrooms to bow ties made of soda cans, computer parts and pills. But when it comes to producing automobiles, large buildings and machinery, steel is still king.

According to steel building site BuildingsGuide.com, the material also has some built-in advantages when it comes to recycling.

Because steel is a metal, it can be separated from a muddled single-stream of recyclables by using magnets. It’s also considerably less finicky than plastics, according to the site, in that steel doesn’t need to be separated by color or size before it’s recycled can all be melted down at once.

And, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute, technological advances have seen the energy intensity needed to produce a ton of steel drop by 27 percent since 1990, helping in part to make steel the world’s most recycled material.

For more information on how steel is made and recycled, check out this infographic from BuildingsGuide.com:

steel guide infographic
Infographic by: BuildingsGuide

Homepage Photo: Flickr/Salim Virji

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