Steel is North America’s most recycled material; each year more steel is recycled than aluminum, paper, glass and plastic combined. Recycled steel scrap constitutes over 90% of the raw material input for most EAF steel producers. Once steel is initially produced, it becomes a permanent “natural” resource because it is 100% recyclable – each recycling process yields no loss of quality and has a potentially endless life cycle. The combination of strength, recyclability, versatility, and availability makes steel unique.
The prevalence of steel in society, and the recyclability inherent in its life cycle, is one of the best environmental success stories of any industrial sector in the U.S. today. As North America’s largest recyclers, SMA members are extremely proud of their contributions to sustainability.