Three Undeniable Benefits Of Ferrous Steel Recycling To The Economy And The Environment

Posted on: 8 November 2021


Ferrous is a general term used to describe an alloy containing iron. Thus, steel is a ferrous metal because it contains a significant amount of iron combined with other elements such as carbon. Ferrous steel recycling refers to the process of collecting discarded ferrous steel and reprocessing it to make it usable.

Though most people do not realize the significance of ferrous steel recycling, it is essential to note that it plays a significant role in the economy of any country and in preserving the environment. Thus, if you are wondering about its importance, here are three undeniable reasons why ferrous steel recycling is an important service.

Preserving a Non-Renewable Resource for Future Generation 

Iron and coal are the two main ingredients used to make ferrous steel. Though iron is the most abundant element on earth, the same cannot be said for coal. In 2016 the remaining coal reserves in the world were about 1.14 million short tons which meant that the world could run out of coal reserves in about 133 years. Thus, coal is an extremely limited non-renewable resource.  

Hence, the more coal is utilized to manufacture new ferrous steel, the more the remaining reserves are depleted. As such, there is a possibility that future generations may not find any coal left on the planet. 

However, recycled ferrous steel reduces the need to mine more coal to manufacture fresh steel. Thus, ferrous steel recycling services are at the forefront of preserving the little coal reserves left in the world for future generations.

Minimizing Costs

Ferrous steel is an essential commodity in both the manufacturing and construction industries. For instance, ferrous steel beams are essential in constructing skyscrapers and the manufacturing of consumer goods such as electronics and appliances.

In addition to supply and demand, one of the main factors contributing to the price of ferrous steel is the costs involved in the manufacturing process. Remember, the manufacturing process of steel includes:

  • Mining iron and coal ores
  • Transporting the ore to a steel mill
  • Refining the ores
  • Molding the steel

At every stage of the manufacturing process, there are various costs involved, and these costs also contribute to the final price of ferrous steel. As a result, the cost of freshly manufactured ferrous steel is usually higher than the cost of recycled ferrous steel.

The price difference is because ferrous steel recycling is not as expensive a process as manufacturing steel from ore. Thus, electronic, automobile, and construction companies opted to buy recycled ferrous steel instead of freshly milled steel; they could significantly save money.

In turn, the manufacturers and construction companies can minimize the costs associated with producing goods because they get to buy raw material (recycled ferrous steel) at lower cost, enabling them to reduce the prices of goods and construction costs, respectively. Thus, ferrous steel recycling can significantly contribute to the economy by enabling manufacturers to lower the prices of electronic and automobile goods and construction costs for consumers.

Minimizing Carbon Emissions

As mentioned earlier, manufacturing fresh ferrous steel is a lengthy and expensive process. Unfortunately, the process also significantly releases astronomical carbon emissions into the air. 

In 2019, steel manufacturing plants emitted an astonishing 3.7 gigatons of carbon dioxide into the air. With such emission levels, it is no wonder why global warming is a concern. 

Fortunately, ferrous steel recycling is a much less strenuous process. Thus, the emissions produced during the recycling process are significantly less than those produced in the manufacture of fresh steel.

However, because the demand for ferrous steel is still rising, the possibility of halting steel production to minimize carbon emissions is not feasible. Nonetheless, governments are turning to recycled ferrous steel recycling instead of relying on freshly manufactured steel to reduce carbon emissions produced by the steel industry. To learn more, contact a ferrous steel recycling service.