Steel is the most recycled material both in the United States and worldwide. In the United States alone, 74 million metric tons of ferrous scrap was processed by the scrap recycling industry last year: more than 55% of the volume of all domestically processed material. Obsolete ferrous scrap is recovered from automobiles, steel structures, household appliances, railroad tracks, ships, farm equipment and other sources. In addition, prompt scrap, which is generated from industrial and manufacturing sources, accounts for approximately half of the ferrous scrap
Both obsolete and prompt scrap are processed by the scrap recycling industry into commodity grade material that is used to produce more than 60% of total raw steel produced in the United States, predominantly at electric arc furnaces. In addition, the United States exports ferrous scrap to approximately 90 countries worldwide. Domestic and foreign steel mills, foundries and other industrial consumers rely on ferrous scrap as a vital, environmentally friendly and cost-efficient raw material for the production of new steel and cast iron products. Depending on the life-cycle of those finished products, the ferrous scrap once again becomes available for recycling in the months and years ahead.