Steel, for example, is 100% recyclable and is the world’s most recycled material, losing none of its properties during re-treatment processes. There are two processes for making steel – the basic oxygen furnace process uses a minimum of 25% recycled steel and the electric arc furnace process uses virtually 100% recycled steel. The 380 million tonnes of scrap steel recycled in 2003 amounted to 40% of that year’s total world crude steel-make of 965 million tonnes. In North America, the amount of energy required to produce one ton of steel decreased by almost 23% between 1990 and 2003 as the result of technological improvements and energy conservation measures implemented by the industry. Ohio Steel reported that a production cycle for a pound of steel resulted in 90% less air, water and solid waste emission than it had ten years previously. The Canadian Steel Producers Association has stated that extensive use of recycled steel in the steel production process:
conserves raw material and reduces the impact of resource • extraction on the environment; saves energy; and • reduces landfill waste. •
For every ton of steel produced in Canada in 2006, over half a ton of scrap steel was recycled. When one ton of steel is recycled,
2500lb (1134kg) of iron ore, 1400lb (635kg) of coal and 120lb (54kg) of limestone are conserved.