One of the things building owners might like most about steel is the fact that it is such a highly recyclable material, unlike other materials that leave quite a bit of waste from the very beginning of the construction process and even before in how it’s produced. It’s important to consider just how much steel is recycled each and every year, also. In the U.S. alone, over 60 million metric tons of steel was recycled, which is much than the combined amount of glass, plastic and paper recycled. Here are just a few other facts about the recycling possibilities of steel. This is something great to know when you’re planning a new steel garage building!
When it comes to making new steel and steel products, scrap metal is the main way this is done. The majority of steel used in commercial projects comes from recycled pieces either in whole or in part that are reused in new and innovative ways.
Most other industries only really started focusing on the environmental benefits of recycling within the last 20 years. From wood to glass to plastic, most of the time these industries produced tons of waste per year that caused damaged to our environment. The steel industry, on the other hand, has been recycling materials for the past 150 years or so.
The thing about recycling steel is that with each iteration or version of the material and the way it’s used, the quality doesn’t experience any sort of diminishing over time. Commercial grade steel can be recycled and reused an infinite amount of times without you having to worry about the quality of the material being compromised in any way, shape or form.
Over time, the steel industry has figured out ways to make steel an even more durable material than it already is. Today, the material is about 30% stronger than in years passed, and requires a third less energy to make than it did nearly 50 years ago. With even more focus on green initiatives and environmental friendliness, this is an important development that continues to be refined.
The great thing about sorting through scrap steel in order to start the recycling process is the fact that the material has magnetic properties, so large electromagnets make it much easier to move these items around and sort through them. Hand sorting can be time-consuming and quite expensive, so it’s helpful that with steel there is a method that is much easier than other ways.
Rates Of Recycling
While new steel is produced to keep up with demand, a large amount of current steel products are simply reusing the steel that has already been made and recycled for further use. This includes 72% of cans, 90% of household appliances, 93% of automobiles and a whopping 98% of structural steel
On average, you can find about 77% recycled material within most steel used in structures, sometimes more. Typically, steel used in commercial structures were recycled from previous commercial or infrastructural uses – meaning that your prefab steel building is most likely to be recycled into another in the event that you no longer need it.
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