Economic Contributions of the Scrap Industry

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05 December 2022

Always Buying Scrap, Durham NCReduce, Reuse, Remanufacture, and Recycle

The Scrap Metal Industry is involved in the circular economy as the 4th R in Reduce, Reuse, Remanufacture, and Recycle.  While it can often take a hundred years or more to reclaim some steel from buildings and infrastructure, recycling yards often see medium and short-service life commodities such as household metal products, domestic appliances, automobiles, and medical equipment. Our recycling efforts contribute at least 20% to the global metal output and contribute as much as 3-4% to the US GDP in recent years.

Supply Chain and Global Emissions

Supply chains strained by COVID-19 and geopolitical conflict including the taxing or prohibiting of the exportation of scrap metal, have created a need for countries to look within for sources of commodities. In addition, metal mining and manufacturing have a large footprint that commands attention. It is estimated that between 2-7% of all global C02 emissions are a result of aluminum and steel manufacturing. Recycling scrap metal reduces energy consumption by as much as 70% compared to making metal from ore.

On average, one ton of recycled steel saves approximately 3086 lbs. of iron ore, 1,630 pounds of coal, and 265 pounds of limestone.”

Scrap Recycling Durham NCThe scrap industry reduces our collective footprint on the environment by reusing resources.  It takes up to forty tons of earth to extract enough iron ore to make a ton of steel.  It takes only a ton of scrap steel to make a ton of steel. To put it in another way, recycling a single steel can save 1 laundry load, an hour of TV, or 24 hours of a 10-watt LED lightbulb.

The Scrap Industry employs many people.  Our industry provides jobs required for scrap collection, separation, and recycling. Jobs include accounting, sales, skilled labor, driving, mechanics, etc.

As of 2022, the US Scrap Metal Recycling Market is estimated at 9.2 billion and reach a valuation of 15.6 billion by the end of 2032.”

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