When people talk about recycling, the items that usually come to mind are paper, plastic, and glass. However, one of the most recyclable materials in the world is actually steel. In fact, just last year, the United States had over 75 million metric tons of iron and steel processed by the scrap recycling industry. That’s enough, by weight, to build 25 Eiffel Towers every single day of the year.
So where does all this steel come from? One obvious answer is soda cans. In fact, in 2011, the US recycled almost 11.9 million cans, which equals about 15.5 million tons of shredded scrap. However, this is not the only steel source that can be recycled. Other sources include steel that is recovered from appliances, automobiles, steel structures, ships, farm equipment, and railroad tracks. All of these items, which include both ferrous and nonferrous metals, have the capability, when recycled, to drastically help our environment and our economy. Continue reading