Environmental Contribution

SMA’s members make a contribution to the environment through recycling that is unsurpassed in any industry. In addition to strength and value, recyclability is one of steel’s best attributes. New steel products from U.S. EAFs typically contain over 90 percent total recycled content. Steel can be recovered and remanufactured repeatedly to make new high quality products.

By using steel scrap as a primary feedstock, EAF steel companies consume millions of tons of ferrous scrap that might otherwise be deposited as refuse in landfills or disposed as litter. Steel is recycled five times more than the sum of aluminum, copper, lead, nickel, chromium, and zinc combined.

The U.S. has some of the cleanest energy-intensive industries in the world. This is particularly true of the U.S. EAF steel industry. If measures intended to address global climate change do not take into account international trade, and specifically the environmental costs of trade impacts, energy-intensive industries will move overseas to developing countries, and emissions from the world’s most energy-intensive industries will actually increase.

As the largest recyclers in North America, SMA’s members are committed to practical and cost-effective removal of mercury from the scrap metal supply. SMA supports realistic mercury removal and recovery programs in which all stakeholders contribute to the solution.