Source: American Recycler
by Mike Breslin
Everyone in the recycling industry is aware of the many benefits of recycled steel. It’s less expensive and more environmentally sound than drawing materials from nature, and its recyclability virtually endless.
A basic North American oxygen furnace uses anywhere from 25 to 35 percent recycled steel to make new flat-rolled steel used in products such as automotive fenders and appliances, cans, metal roofing and numerous other thin-gauge applications. The electric arc furnace uses more than 80 percent recycled steel to make new beams, plate, rebar and other structural and flat-rolled products. Most new steel products, including their original recycled content, will eventually feed back into the recycling stream.
Recycled steel has always been important in construction, but now it is finding new roles in structural applications as it helps improve energy efficiencies in commercial buildings and housing, becoming a high national priority for green buildings that seek to conserve resources and contribute to energy savings. On a smaller scale, this also applies to metals such as copper, aluminum and zinc, which are also recycled into new building materials.
In February, during his Penn State University speech, President Obama called for businesses to improve energy efficiency in commercial buildings across the United States.