The Wonders of Steel Recycling

How does one steel building turn into another?

Or, in this case, a car is turned into a steel building. Seriously, (and you can probably figure this out from the age of some of this film from below), but recycling steel has been done for a long time. Of course, it’s good for the environment—it reuses an existing resource over and over again, transforming it each time for a new and useful purpose. In contrast, the process of digging iron ore from the earth and turning it into steel is vastly more complicated and requires many steps. Easier to just bust up a car, shred it, melt it and then turn it into a building. You should check this out: it shows a bunch of nattily dressed conference attendees attacking a poor defenseless Oldsmobile with a sledgehammer (actually, it’s surprising how much sledgehammering the car can sustain). I suppose they are working through some white-collar angst.

Let’s geek out a bit on steel recycling, as you saw it done in this video. According to the oracle of Wikipedia, in 2008, “more than 83% 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 2008, more than 97% of structural steel and 106% of automobiles were recycled, comparing the current steel consumption for each industry with the amount of recycled steel being produced (the late 2000s recession and the associated sharp decline in automobile production explains the over-100% calculation). A typical appliance is about 75% steel by weight and automobiles are about 65% steel and iron.”

So there you go, something to think about next time you pass a car that’s smashed up. It will go on to vibrant new life! Maybe as your new warehouse or mini-storage!


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