Steel’s Recycling Record

  • Steel is the most recycled material in the world – including more than 82 million tons in the U.S. alone in 2008. More steel is recycled annually than all other materials, including aluminum, glass, plastic, copper and paper combined.
  • Every ton of steel recycled saves 2,500 pounds of iron ore, 1,400 pounds of coal and 120 pounds of limestone. According to the EPA, recycled iron and steel save the nation 74 percent of the energy that would have been needed to make new steel. That energy would be enough to electrically power about 1/5 of the households in the U.S. (or about 18 million homes) for one year
  • In the past 50 years, more than 50 percent of the steel produced in this country has been recycled through the steelmaking process.
  • The U.S. Industry has exceeded Kyoto accords for improvements by more than 240%. If every individual and segment of the U.S. economy achieves the same energy improvements as the steel industry, the U.S. would EXCEED Kyoto accord.
  • On average, 75 percent of the weight of a typical household appliance is steel. The steel in these appliances, like all steel, contains a minimum of 25 percent of recycled content and is recyclable again after its long, durable life. A recent study performed by the Steel Recycling Institute and the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers determined that the steel weight of individual appliances is as follows:
  • Clothes washers, top load 94.5 lb
  • Clothes washers, front load 84.2 lob
  • Clothes dryers (gas) 100.4 lb
  • Clothes dryers (electric)
  • Microwave ovens 28.8 lb
  • Dishwashers (steel interior) 26.7 lb, stainless steel content 43.4 lb
  • Dishwashers (plastic interior) 27.6 lb
  • Room air conditioners 35.6 lb
  • Ranges (gas) 149.4 lb
  • Ranges (electric) 106.8 lb
  • Side by side refrigerator 152.5 lb
  • Top/bottom refrigerator 79.0 lb

U.S. Government Joins April’s “Spring Cleaning”

Homeowners happy to stay put for awhile, may want to tap into "the largesse" of the stimulus bill this month. While spring cleaning your house this year, consider throwing out and recycling old, energy-guzzling appliances in exchange for more energy-efficient varieties. Your reward will be purchase savings and rebates via a government-sponsored appliance change-out program.

The Federal Government is encouraging homeowners to join in “Spring Cleaning” by offering up to a $1,500 tax credit for those who want to upgrade their older, less energy-efficient appliances. This includes stoves, heating, ventilating, air conditioning (HVAC), insulation, roofs, water heaters, windows and doors. Modeled after last year’s “cash-for-clunkers” program to help the auto industry, the government hopes these rebates could boost the appliance industry. Get rid of your rusty appliance, save money and upgrade to an energy efficient appliance this April!

Energy efficiency/Emissions Reductions:

  • In the last two-and-a-half decades, annual energy consumption by the steel industry has been reduced by more than 60 percent.
  • Based on 2008 data, the U.S. steel industry has reduced greenhouse gas emissions since 1990 by 33 percent, and has improved its energy efficiency during the same period by 31 percent
  • The CO2 Breakthrough Program, the steel industry’s answer to its Climate VISION commitment to increase its energy efficiency, establishes a goal of an additional 10 percent reduction in CO2 emissions by 2012.

For more information, visit Steel Recycling Institute