Metal Recycling Fun Facts

Did you know?

For every ton of aluminum recycled: 13 Million watts of electricity is saved, 95% less air pollution is produced, 4 tons of chemical product are conserved, and 5 to 8 tons of bauxite ore is conserved.  Most of the bauxite ore used to make aluminum cans is mined in the tropics including tropical forests.  Recycling aluminum helps save tropical forests. Turning old cans into new cans saves 95% of the energy needed to make cans from ore.  One recycled aluminum can save enough electricity to run a computer or a TV for three hours.  

Scrap Metal Recycling Facts & Figures:

1. Recycling one ton of steel conserves 2,500 lbs. of iron ore, 1,400 lbs. of

coal, and 120 lbs. of limestone.

2. A used aluminum can is recycled and back on the grocery shelf within

just 60 days.

3. The United States annually recycles enough copper to provide the

copper content of more than 25,000 Statues of Liberty.

4. On average, the United States processes enough ferrous scrap daily,

by weight, to build 25 Eiffel Towers every day of the year.

5.  An estimated 85 to 95 percent of all automotive aluminum is recovered

and recycled.

6.  By using ferrous scrap rather than virgin materials in the production of iron and steel, CO2 emissions are reduced by 58 percent.

7. Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a 55” HDTV to

watch your favorite movie.

8. The United States annually processes nearly 290 billion lbs. of scrap

material — the weight of more than 70 million cars.

9. The Gateway Arch in St. Louis used 900 tons of stainless steel in

construction — at the time, more stainless steel than any project

in history. Enough stainless steel is recycled in the United States each

year to build nearly 1,500 Gateway Arches.

10. Lead-acid batteries, a primary use for lead, have a nearly 100 percent recycling rate.   

11. One metric ton of electronic scrap from personal computers

contains more gold than that recovered from 17 tons of gold ore.

12. The United States annually recycles enough ferrous scrap, by weight,

to build more than 900 Golden Gate Bridges — a bridge stretching

nearly 9,000 feet.

13.  Recycling one car saves more than 2,500 lbs. of iron ore, 1,400 lbs. of coal, and 120 lbs. of


14.  Recycling steel requires 60 percent less energy than producing steel from iron ore.

15.  The United States recycled the equivalent of nearly 12 million cars in 2014.

16.  2014 Recycling Rate 

• for cars: nearly 100 percent

• for structural steel: 98 percent

• for rebar and reinforcement steel: 71 percent

See more facts and information from ISRI on their website: