Steel is one of the most recycled materials in the world, and, as of 2007, more than 78% of steel was recycled in the United States. In the United States it is the most widely recycled material; in 2000, more than 60 million metric tons were recycled.
The most commonly recycled items are containers, automobiles, appliances, and construction materials. For example, in 2007, more than 97% of structural steel and 110% of automobiles were recycled, comparing the current steel consumption for each industry with the amount of recycled steel being produced. A typical appliance is about 75% steel by weight and automobiles are about 65% steel and iron.Read more: Steel
Copper is 100% recyclable without any loss of quality whether in a raw state or contained in a manufactured product. Copper is the third most recycled metal after iron and aluminium. It is estimated that 80% of the copper ever mined is still in use today. Common grades of copper for recycling are:
Aluminium is 100% recyclable without any loss of its natural qualities. Recovery of the metal via recycling has become an important facet of the aluminium industry.
Recycling involves melting the scrap, a process that requires only five percent of the energy used to produce aluminium from ore. However, a significant part (up to 15% of the input material) is lost as dross (ash-like oxide). The dross can undergo a further process to extract aluminum.
Recycling was a low-profile activity until the late 1960s, when the growing use of aluminium beverage cans brought it to the public awareness.Read more: Aluminium
Aluminium beverage cans are usually recycled in the following basic way: