Steel and Other Metals

View numbered sources in PDF format  |  Back to trivia by subject

About 70% of all metal is used just once and discarded. The remaining
30% is recycled. After 5 cycles, one-fourth of 1% of the metal remains
in circulation. (27)

About 12.3 million tons of steel waste is generated annually in the
U.S., overall, about 15.4% of steel in the waste stream is recycled.

Making tin cans from recycled steel takes only one-fourth of the energy
needed to make them from new steel and creates only one-fourth of the
water and air pollution created by making cans from new steel. (41)

For every pound of steel that is recycled, enough energy is saved to
light a 60-watt bulb for more than a day. (23)

Americans use 100 million tin and steel cans every day. Every minute,
more than 9,000 tin cans are recovered from the trash with magnets. 

Every day, Americans use enough steel and tin cans to make a steel pipe
running from Los Angeles to New York and back again. (21)

During the last decade, world steel makers recycled almost 2.5 billion
tons of steel. (21)

Americans throw away enough steel every year to build all the new cars
made in America. (41)

In 1993, approximately 36 million appliances, 30 million tons of steel
construction and demolition debris, and 94% of discarded automobiles
were recycled. (58)

100 lbs. of recycled steel replace almost 150 lbs. of steel ore. When
steel cans were introduced in 1935, they weighed 172 lbs. per thousand;
today, they weigh 70 lbs. per thousand. (38)

In 1989, enough scrap copper was recycled in the U.S. to supply the
wiring and plumbing for every building constructed already that year.