Where, How, and Why Is Stainless Steel Recycled?
Stainless steel might not be the most precious metal, not even by a long shot, but it has come to stay in almost everything around us today.
Like our watches at Nordgreen, stainless steel has proven that it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to be one of the most useful options around.
Pushing through sustainability as one of our core goals and knowing fully well that we use hypoallergenic stainless steel in our watches, it is necessary to discuss recycling stainless steel.
In this piece, you’ll get bite-sized information that you can easily digest on stainless steel recycling.
Can stainless steel be recycled?
Before we get excited and talk about other things, let’s clear the air here.
Is recycling stainless steel possible, or is that just a waste of our time?
Scientific studies have been conducted into different stainless steel materials, with the conclusion showing that 85% of stainless steel can be recycled. At the point where they reach their end of life, more stainless steel than not can be sent to the recycling bin or sold as industrial scrap to be used as raw materials in the manufacture of other products.
This high level of recyclability makes stainless steel one of the most sustainable metals to use today. The reusability also pushes down the costs, ensuring we get the same quality of the new stainless steel metal across to you from using recycled material.
Is recycled stainless steel good enough?
For starters, stainless steel is the top recycled metal in the world, and by far.
This means any manufacturer that makes stainless steel with recycled materials has spent some time learning how to use the new and recycled steel – or maybe even the latter alone.
Such experience, coupled with technological advancements, makes it possible to turn old scrap into manufacturing materials that are as durable, quality, and high strength as the original material.
On top of that, the new scrap is cost-efficient, helping manufacturers keep the market price of stainless steel products low.
Where is stainless steel recycled?
If you also want to join the stainless steel recycling movement, there are several ways to do so.
Some communities provide special recycling bins where you can dump items such as glass, aluminum, and stainless steel. Separately, of course.
You can choose to go that route, separating your stainless steel into other refuse bags before you take out the trash.
Likewise, there is a lesser-known approach that allows you to get paid for bringing in your stainless steel scrap instead of just letting it go in the bin.
For this, you need to have local stainless steel-using companies or local brands that collect scrap metals/ recycle stainless steel to sell to other users.
If you have a substantial amount of stainless steel, these local brands will buy the reclaimed scrap from you at a fair price.
What kind of stainless steel products can you recycle?
Most of the new products made of stainless steel today have elements of recycled material in them.
Thus, a majority of the stainless steel you have in your homes and offices (carbon steel, 316L, 306L, etc.) can go to the stainless steel scrap yard once they have attained their global life cycle.
To put a name to things, here are some of the stainless steel items you can recycle:
- Pots and pans
- Stainless steel slabs
- Fans (standing, ceiling, etc.)
- Kitchen sinks
- Pumping machines
- Power generators
- Knives, etc.
From big to small, as long as they have exceeded their useful life, send them into a company that can make use of them, and you’ll be contributing to less degradation of the environment (via iron ore mining).
Start recycling stainless steel today
If you had been throwing your stainless steel items away in the general waste bin or keeping them in the attic, now is the time to change.
Stainless steels sent into manufacturing companies help to prevent excessive iron ore exploitation, improve the environment, and ensure a continuous level of sustainability.
The best part is that you can also earn while recycling this material, so it’s a win-win.
Although it might not be some life-changing money, think about it this way:
Besides getting some value back for what you paid on the original stainless steel product, you are also getting paid for doing some good to the world.
We’re sure that’s something to keep you happy while buying a cup of coffee with your recycling money.