Steel is the most recycled material in North America, according to the Steel Recycling Institute. More than 68 million tons are recycled each year. All new steel made in North America contains recycled steel, making steel the preferred material in “Green Building” initiatives.
There are two production methods for steel, EAF (electric-arc-furnace) and BOF (basic oxygen furnace), each using different amounts of recycled materials.
Structural steel beams in the US are produced by EAF and contain at least 90% total recycled content, saving energy that would have been used to extract the raw material from the ground, and saving our landfills by encouraging the recycling of your old clunker, that washer or dryer, and old farming implements. While the BOF production method uses at least 25% recycled materials and relies much more heavily on raw materials – this steel is primarily plate, angles, tubes and flat bars, the material that connects the steel beams in the field.