Did you know that steel is the most recycled material in the world? In North America, we recycle around 80 million tons of steel every year. That's more than the weight of all the cars in the entire state of California. It's also more than all the paper, plastic, aluminum and glass that we recycle every year together. Steel (and corrosion-resistant stainless steel) is 100% recyclable; it's strong, durable, and is overused all over the world.
It is not surprising that this is one of the most recycled metals (if not the most), since a large part of it is used in countless industries; it also retains all its properties after being recycled. Steel is constantly evolving to meet the demands of modern requirements. There are more than 3,500 different grades of steel, and 75% of them have been created in the last two decades. Recycling steel is considered a simple process because removing impurities is so easy.
Even low-value steel can be recycled into high-value steel using appropriate metallurgy and processing methods. One ton of recycled steel produces 1131 kg of iron ore, 633 kg of coal and 54 kg of limestone. If ever there was a contender for steel as the most recycled metal on the planet, it would be iron. Iron is the most abundant metal on Earth (as well as the fourth most abundant element found in the Earth's crust).
Iron is potentially the most important metal on the planet, as it is the key ingredient in steel. This is why approximately 90% of all refined metal is iron; the demand for steel is so high that it must be met with the right supply. Aluminum is one of the most cost-effective metals to recycle, as it offers enormous energy savings compared to manufacturing from scratch. Like most metals, aluminum can be recycled in an unlimited way without losing any of its beneficial properties.
As a result, recycled aluminum is used in a wide range of applications, including construction, vehicle manufacturing, electronic devices, and more. In fact, a ton of recycled mobile phones contains more gold than a ton of gold ore that comes from most mines. Gold doesn't scratch glass Real gold is soft and malleable and doesn't leave scratches on the surface of the glass like other gold-like metals do.