North American Steel Recycling Grows

The recycling rate for steel grew by 4.3% from 2001 to 2002, reaching 70.7%, according the Steel Recycling Institute, a unit of the Washington, D.C.-based American Iron and Steel Institute. The recycled scrap totaled more than 70 million tons. Sample segments of the steel industry include:

  • Construction and demolition ferrous debris hit a 95% recycle rate for structural beams and plates. Meanwhile, collection and recycling of rebars and other construction materials increased from 50% in 2001 to 57.5% in 2002.
  • Steel in automobiles reached a 100.6% rate, a slight drop from 101.9% the previous year. (This rate is calculated by comparing total steel used to produce new cars with the total steel recovered from old cars.)
  • The recycling of steel in household appliances grew from 85% in 2001 to 86.6% in 2002.
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