National Minerals Information Center

Iron and Steel Scrap Statistics and Information

Iron and steel scrap is a vital raw material for the production of new steel and cast-iron products.   The steelmaking and foundry industries in the United States are highly dependent upon the ready availability of scrap from manufacturing operations and from the recovery of products that are no longer used or needed.   The steel industry has been recycling steel scrap for more than 150 years.  

Steel scrap recycling conserves raw materials, energy, and landfill space.  The domestic steel industry recycles millions of metric tons per year of steel cans, automobiles, appliances, construction materials, and other steel products.  The primary source of obsolete steel is the automobile.  The remelting of scrap requires much less energy than the production of iron and steel products from iron ore.  Consumption of iron and steel scrap by remelting reduces the burden on landfill disposal facilities and prevents the accumulation of abandoned steel products in the environment.


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Cris Candice Tuck

Mineral Commodity Specialist, Physical Scientist
National Minerals Information Center
Phone: 703-648-4912