Ferrous Metal Recycling and Why it’s so Important

As one of the most widely recycled products across the globe, ferrous metals are found in a range of items that we use each and every day, including cars, household appliances, machinery and some construction materials.

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What are Ferrous Metals?

Ferrous metals are durable metals (mainly iron-based) with high tensile strength. Well revered for their high-tensile strength, ferrous metals are widely found in construction, rail, tolls and the cars we drive. Most ferrous metals can also be useful in the construction of electrical appliances and motors due to their magnetic properties. The majority of ferrous metals contain high levels of carbon, making them vulnerable to rust. However, stainless steel (as well as wrought iron) are impervious to the rusting process.

Ferrous metals include steel (mild, carbon and stainless) and iron (cast and wrought).

Why we Recycle Ferrous Metals

Steel is a common ferrous metal and is found in a range of products and applications across the world. The steelmaking industry depends on the recycling of scrap ferrous metals in order to meet demand while keeping costs low and environmental impact even lower.

Here’s why:

– Close to 40% of all the steel spanning the globe comes from recycled ferrous metals as the process for recycling the steel is much cheaper and uses up much less energy than mining and refining new steel.
– Recycling steel takes up around 75% less energy than mining and refining new steel deposits, which is enough energy to power approximately 18 million average households.
– Steel, unlike other non-ferrous metals, retains its physical properties during the recycling process, so it can be effectively used again without needing to be strengthened.

Recycle Symbol

Which Ferrous Metal Products can be Recycled?

There are a great number of items constructed from ferrous metals that can be recycled, some that you may not have known about, and vary greatly in size. Cans, vehicles, tools and even household appliances such as washing machines can be recycled as ferrous metals. Cast iron baths, cast iron pipes and old water tanks are also on the list. There are also a variety of items used in the construction industry made of ferrous metals, and the industry uses and then recycles a large quantity of these materials, such as beams, machinery and columns.

The 5 key facts to take away:

1. Approximately 40% of steel production in the world is made from recycled scrap.
2. Recycling steel takes up 75% less energy than creating new steel from the raw materials that are mined.
3. The steel frames of cars contain a minimum of 25% recycled steel, with your average household appliance being constructed using at least 75%.
4. 55kg of limestone, 1100kg of iron ore and 630kg of coal are saved for every 1 tonne of steel recycled.
5. Approximately 500,000,000 tonnes of steel is produced each year using recycled scrap materials.

At Morecambe Metals we understand the importance of ferrous metal recycling and are dedicated to making the world a better place. For more information, you can contact a member of our team who will be more than happy to help.