The Most Recyclable Building Material on the Planet
When choosing building materials for your next project, one consideration that you need to make is how well these materials can be recycled when the service life of your project has been completed. While many materials are highly recyclable, such as glass, aluminum, cardboard, and plastic, there’s only one material that stands at the top of the list as the material that’s recycled most often. Surprisingly, that highly recyclable material is steel. Keep reading to learn how and why steel is the material with nine lives or more.
Doesn’t Lose Strength
Given the processes involved in recycling various materials, most materials tend to change certain properties when they’re recycled. For example, plastic can only be recycled a few times, and when it is recycled, it has to be produced into a lower-quality plastic because of the property-changing characteristics of plastic. Fortunately, when you recycle steel, it doesn’t change, retaining 100% of its original strength. Given this infinite life-cycle, it’s easy to see why steel is so widely recycled.
Another property of steel that makes it desirable for recycling is its versatility. After steel has been recycled, it can be made into countless new products, such as studs, cooking pots, stainless steel drainage grates, and so much more. Thus, steel is desirable for residential and commercial customers, providing plenty of demand for the recycling industry to fulfill.
Unlike other recycling processes that require advanced chemistry to create a quality product, recycling steel requires just one main component: heat. Since steel has been in use across the world for such a long time, the smelting process is well-understood by countless countries, even those that may not have the resources for other types of recycling. Given the basic processes and consistent demand, steel recycling is a fairly easy industry to break into.
Easy to Work With
When a building is torn down, its components must be separated if they are to be recycled. Given the metallic properties of steel, it is easy to separate it from other building materials because all that is needed is a large magnet. Since steel can be separated with a high degree of purity, demolition experts are far more likely to make an effort to spare steel from the landfill than they are other building materials.
Given the worldwide market for steel, the price of steel can fluctuate frequently based on a variety of global factors. Therefore, when you decide to use steel for your building project, it’s important to act quickly to procure your steel supply before the price has a chance to increase. Given its benefits, this is one purchase that you won’t regret.