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Recycling Metals


In 2007, the U.S. ferrous scrap industry was valued at $21.6 billion.

If the ferrous scrap that is recycled in the U.S. were put into rail cars, the train would stretch 11,349 miles—nearly halfway around the world.

On average, the U.S. processes enough ferrous scrap daily to build five Eiffel Towers every day of the year.

In 2007, the U.S. scrap industry recycled more than 81.6 million metric tons of ferrous metal.

The U.S. is the largest exporter of ferrous scrap in the world. In 2007, 15.6 million metric tons of ferrous scrap—valued at more than $5 billion—were exported to 133 countries, including Turkey, China, Canada, Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Thailand, India, and Egypt.

Recycling Scrap

Top exports include:

5,000,000 metric tons of shredded steel scrap

3,300,000 metric tons of #1 heavy melting steel

1,800,000 metric tons of alloyed non-stainless steel

1,100,000 metric tons of cast iron

Recycling steel requires 60% less energy than producing steel from iron ore.

The use of scrap vs. iron ore reduces mining wastes by 97%, air pollution efficient by 86%, and water pollution by 76%.

Recycled more than 17 million cars in 2006 through more than 200 shredders to supply an estimated 14 million tons of shredded scrap.

Recycling rate:

Sources: http://www.originalrecyclers.org/ferrous_scrap.pdf
AISI, USGS, USITC, ISRI, other industry sources