Steel Recycling Chicago

Steel Recycling: Processes & Benefits

Steel, an iron alloy made up of combined metals and nonmetals, is a material commonly found in construction and renovation projects and everyday items like your kitchen utensils.

Since steel is so commonly used in producing products and materials, it is heavily utilized.

Luckily, steel can be easy to obtain as it can be recycled. Steel is one of the most recycled materials, helping to save on the cost of purchasing steel and products made from this metal.

Understanding the recycling process, what types of steel can be recycled, and where to find an ideal processing location can show just how efficient steel recycling can be.

Types of Steel Recyclables: Steel vs. Stainless Steel

Many people may not realize that there are numerous types of steel. With over 3,500 grades of steel, it can be challenging to know how to recycle each.

Nearly all steel types can be recycled, but with different processes for recycling.

The biggest difference lies between steel and stainless steel. While steel is a ferrous metal that contains iron and is highly magnetized, stainless steel is a non-ferrous metal with no iron and therefore no magnetic properties.

Due to its lack of iron, the process for stainless steel recycling will differ from other steel types. Stainless steel will have a higher melting point and should be separate from other steel appliances.

The Steel Recycling Process

Understanding how steel is recycled will demonstrate how the metal can be used over and over.

Steel is collected by three sources: home scraps like steel waste from trimmings, industrial scraps from manufacturing and appliances, and obsolete scraps which are steel scraps from individuals and household waste.

These steels should be separated by type and within their melting point either before or after collection. Steel materials are dropped off at recycling locations or collected by recycling companies on site.

Steel scraps are then shredded into tiny blocks and melted down in furnaces reaching temperatures around 3,000 degrees. Once heated, the scraps are purified to remove potential contaminants before the steel is solidified.  

The now recycled material is redistributed as steel sheets.  

The Environment & Economic Impact of Steel Recycling

Since steel is such a commonly used material, recycling means a greater production of appliances and products featuring steel. If not recycled, the price of steel would rise due to the difficulty of extracting ore from the earth which can damage and deplete the earth of natural resources.

Metals like steel can be recycled repeatedly without the risk of altering their properties.

Recycling steel can save over 70 percent of the energy used in production compared to using raw materials.

This preserves natural resources and prevents an excess emission of carbon dioxide and other harmful greenhouse gasses.

Recycling steel also prevents steel-based products from ending up in landfills and polluting the earth.

All American Recycling’s Steel Recycling Solution

All American Recycling wants to help you clear unwanted materials in a positive, environment-friendly way.

At All American Recycling, there are four processing and salvage yards within the Chicago area. Materials can be dropped off (at three of our retail facilities – Aurora, Ford Heights and Joliet) or collected through pick-up and demolition services which are offered to individuals and businesses. Give us a call today!

All American Recycling recycles not only scrap steel but aluminum, copper, and lead too. These scraps can be gathered in both small and large collection sizes.

All steel-based products and materials are accepted including stainless steel, 304, 316, and more. Other recyclable materials include batteries, insulated and stripped wires, radiators, electric motors, transformers, cans, siding, rotors, springs, beams, and iron sheets.