News / Blog / 04.21.2020

Scrap Metal Recycling Fun Facts for Earth Day

Scrap Metal Recycling Fun Facts for Earth Day - Image

On this unique Earth Day in 2020, we’d like to be gathering together to plant trees or pick up litter in our local parks, but the world had other plans. However, scrap metal recycling is an essential business, so our team members in our plants are hard at work doing what they do every day to keep critical manufacturing up and running! 


In addition to powering the economy, recycling of metal (and other materials) plays an important role in preserving our environment. In fact, recycling is the number one way that we can protect the earth from harmful waste. To commemorate Earth Day this year, we’re bringing you some fun facts about metal recycling.

Let us show you the impact of scrap metal recycling!

According to the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) in 2019, every year the U.S. scrap industry recycles…

  • 85 million tons of iron and steel 
  • 5.5 million tons of aluminum 
  • 1.8 million tons of copper 
  • 2 million tons of stainless steel 
  • 1.2 million tons of lead and 
  • 420,000 tons of zinc

And the industry is growing every year!


Non-Ferrous (Without Iron) Scrap Metal Facts

  • Every year, the U.S. recycles enough copper to provide the copper content for 25,000 Statues of Liberty.
  • The United States provides more than 20% of the world supply of recovered copper.
  • Using recycled aluminum scrap requires 92% less energy than virgin material.
  • An estimated 85–90% of all automotive aluminum is recovered and recycled.


Ferrous (Iron) Scrap Metal Facts

  • Steel is the most recycled material in North America—more than cardboard or paper!
  • On average, the United States processes enough ferrous scrap daily, by weight, to build 25 Eiffel Towers every day of the year.
  • Using ferrous scrap rather than virgin materials to produce iron and steel reduces CO2 emissions of this process by 58%.
  • Recycling steel requires 60% less energy than producing steel from iron ore.
  • Recycling one car saves more than 2,500 pounds of iron ore, 1,400 pounds of coal, and 120 pounds of limestone.
  • The United States recycled nearly 11.9 million cars in 2011, supplying an estimated 15.5 million tons of shredded scrap.


Now that’s a lot of material that could have otherwise wound up in landfills! We’re proud to be part of the solution to creating a better tomorrow for our economy and our environment. Keep on recycling and have a healthy and safe Earth Day!