The most common type of metal in the municipal waste stream is
steel. Steel is also produced and recycled within the
automotive, shipping, and construction industries. Distinct from
other recyclables, recycled steel must be used to create new
containers consist of or contain steel. Fruit, vegetables,
paint, bandages, and shoe polish are just some of the consumer
products held within steel containers.
contain at least 25 percent recycled steel and are 100 percent
magnetic quality makes it one of the easiest materials to
separate, sort, and recycle.
refrigerator contains 75 pounds of steel, and there are
thousands of locations across the country where you can recycle
similar old appliances.
in construction is only generates about 13 gallons of waste –
which can then be recycled.
steel, as opposed to mining for ore, saves enough energy to
power millions of homes for a year.
years, the percent of vehicles available to be recycled was
nearly 100 percent.
It only takes 45 seconds to shred a car into steel scrap pieces.
car saves thousands of pounds of iron ore, thousands of pounds
of coal, and over 100 pounds of limestone.
Vehicles and appliances provide a large percentage of the
steel scrap needed to produce new products.
containers and other household items are collected or dropped
off at a management or recycling facility.
Steel is sent
to a processing facility, where it is crushed, baled, and
shipped to steel mills.
The steel mills
mix these bales with other steel scrap and use a furnace to melt
the combined scrap and create new steel.
These furnaces heat steel to thousands of degrees in
order to process it.
Steel mills use
one of two types of furnace, depending on the final product
Furnace – This furnace, which produces flat-rolled types of
steel, uses 25 percent steel scrap to create new steel. In one
hour, these furnaces produce steel, which would take eight hours
to mine and create from virgin ore.
Furnace – Used for long shaped steel products, this furnace
melts nearly 100 percent steel scrap to create new steel.
In addition to
the furnace process, steel scrap can also be melted at foundries
and made into engine and machinery casts.
Because of the
use of lead as a common additive in steel, some concern exists
for the amount of lead emission during torch cutting.
In surveys conducted, many steel processors reported not
having sufficient monitoring or safety practices in place.
Careful precautions should be taken to
avoid exposure to lead and other potentially toxic
replacing torch cutting with shearing, which has a reduced risk
of lead exposure.
employees on precautions to take during torch cutting.
protection, like facemasks or respirators, for employees who
perform torch cutting.
bathrooms, lockers, & break rooms that separate possible
contaminated areas from clean ones.
cleaning of the exposed work areas to reduce lead dust