Steel is the world’s most recycled construction material and approximately 40% of all steel production is based on recycled scrap. Over 500 million tonnes of steel are multicycled worldwide each year – equivalent to 180 Eiffel Towers every day.
Steel used in construction has a very high rate of recycling at end of life. For example, in the UK, 87% of constructional steel is recycled; 10% is reused and only 3% goes to landfill.
Some 86% of structural steel is recycled as scrap charge used in furnaces and 13% is dismantled and used directly for new structures. Only 1% of all steel that is made is lost to landfill or rust. By comparison to other materials – such as concrete – when steel is removed during demolition of buildings no material is left unsalvaged. That means there is no residue to contaminate the site in years to come – it has all been removed. Research indicates that when steel is used instead of concrete in construction and demolition, steel offers a 19% reduction in CO2 footprint.