Thought Leadership

Did you ever stop to think about the things around us that are made of steel? Stop right now and look around and you may be surprised! I have a temporary office set up at the kitchen table due to Covid19. As I look around and think about this, here are a few ‘steel things’ that come to mind:

  • Stove
  • Refrigerator
  • Crock pot
  • Knife
  • Cabinet hardware
  • Cell phone
  • Computer
  • Garbage can
  • Dog dishes
  • Light Fixtures
  • Pots & Pans
  • Front Door
  • House
  • Car

When we buy steel, we are usually buying recycled product – how awesome is that?! It is one of the most recycled materials on the planet – more than paper, glass, and plastic combined (Steel Recycling Institute). And, it can be recycled repeatedly without the loss of strength (American Iron & Steel Institute).

Recycled Steel Falls into Three Categories.

  1. Home Scrap – produced in a mill and available within weeks
  2. Prompt Scrap – produced from manufacturing products from steel and available within months
  3. Obsolete Scrap – scrap produced from steel products at the end of its life, maybe decades before it will be available such as bridges and automobiles (Steel Recycling Institute)

Recycling Steel is Both Economical and Environmentally Efficient.

  • Economical – a major contributor to the US economy employing more than 500,000 workers in 2019 and generates billions in revenue
  • Environmental – requires less energy to produce, therefore reducing Co2 emissions by 58-74%, and reducing other greenhouse gases (Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries. 2019 Recycling Industry Yearbook)

Recycling One Car Saves More Than:

  • 2,500 lbs of iron ore
  • 1,400 lbs of coal
  • 120 lbs of limestone (Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries. 2019 Recycling Industry Yearbook)

While you are quarantined at home, look around your yard, in your garage, in your basement. Is there steel laying around not in use, that you can recycle into something new?

Speaking of recycling…there are many items in my home that may be recycled into toilet paper, but I will save that for another article 😊.


  • Steel Recycling Institute
  • American Iron & Steel Institute. 50 Fun Facts about Steel
  • General News
  • Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries. 2019 Recycling Industry Yearbook