There are so many reasons to use steel fixtures for your business, you’ll lose count. But one of the most compelling reasons to use this strong and dependable solution, whether its for an assembly line, distribution center, stock room, or warehouse, is the off-the-charts recyclability of steel.
Yes, steel is “North America’s #1 Recycled Material” with nearly 64 million tons recycled since January 1, 2013, says the Steel Recycling Institute (SRI). That’s more than aluminum, copper, glass, lead, paper, and plastic combined! Although all kinds of steel products are recycled at an astonishing rate, steel cans currently hold the crown for America’s most recycled packaging.
Steel Cans in America
If you live in America, chances are you come in contact with steel in everyday life. And not just in the buildings you work or live in and the cars you drive, but even in everyday household items from pots and pans to the food and drink products you buy.
In fact, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the United States generated about 2.2 million tons of steel as containers and packaging in the municipal solid waste (MSW) stream, as well as another 14.3 million tons of ferrous metals, which include iron and steel, as durable goods—representing 6.6% percent of total MSW generation in 2011.
American’s use billions of steel cans each year, including “tin” cans, which are actually 99% percent steel. But whether 99% or 100% percent steel, these powerful packaging systems have an unlimited life cycle meaning they can be recycled repeatedly without loss of durability or strength.
Recycled Steel Benefits the EnvironmentDid you know that using recycled steel saves 80% percent of CO2 emissions and 75% percent of the energy needed to make steel from virgin materials? Did you also know that every ton of recycled steel saves:
- 40% percent of water
- 120 pounds of limestone
- 1,400 pounds of coal
- 2,500 pounds of iron ore
And thanks to the magnetic nature of steel, it can be easily sorted, which helps make the steel recycling process one of the simplest and quickest processes in the world of recycling. In fact, recycled steel cans are typically back on the shelves within a matter of weeks.
Steel Fixtures the Better Buy . . . for More Reasons than One
Not only does it take a limited amount of time to recycle used steel, it takes less time to produce steel products than products made from say, aluminum. Believe it or not, pound for pound, aluminum can cost three to four times as much as steel because it takes more time, manpower, and energy to extract bauxite from the earth (the primary source of aluminum) than it does to extract iron ore! In the end, you’ll pay less for a finished steel solution over a finished aluminum solution. It’s that simple.
If you’re interested in steel parts or material handling solutions for your business, look no further than Valley Box. We have a wide variety of solutions from steel transporting equipment to steel storage equipment to steel fixtures and other positioning equipment.