Recycling steel is great for the environment, and it’s also one of the most valuable metals to recycle. If you want to make some extra money recycling metal, or you’re just interested in how scrap metal recycling works, steel is a great place to start learning.

What is steel?

 Steel is a highly versatile metal made by mixing iron with materials such as carbon. Because it is an alloy, or a metal made from a chemical mixture, it can be made in a wide variety of ways for different applications. It’s used in everything from household appliances like refrigerators and washer-dryers to cars to firearms to aviation and manufacturing equipment. There’s even plenty of steel being used under the ocean and in space right now!

Steel is also one of the best materials in the world to recycle. Because steel is so widely used, it is always worth something—and because it consists of so much iron, very little material is lost during the recycling process. This means that used steel appliances and components can easily be recycled into new steel appliances and components, which helps offset the environmental impact of mining new iron and producing new steel.

Because it’s one of the most valuable and eco-friendly metals to recycle, it is also the most widely recycled material—metal or otherwise—in the world. In the United States in 2000, over 60 million metric tons of steel were recycled. As recently as 2008, 83% of US steel was recycled.

Even though there’s a high supply, though, there’s an even higher demand for steel. This means that recycling your scrap steel can make you money while you help protect the environment at the same time.

How do I recycle steel?

Recycling steel—also known as “ferrous metal” in the business, because “ferrous” means “iron-containing”—is essentially the same as recycling any other metal.

Recycling steel in Texas means following Texas metal recycling laws, which can be a bit complicated. Since we’re experts in recycling and current recycling laws here at Encore, we can easily help you understand the process. Although these laws are complicated, they’re important, because they prevent metal thieves from profiting by selling others’ belongings.

If you want to recycle steel or any other metal with Encore, you’ll be issued a transaction card after filling out a simple application in our facility. Once you have this card, you can recycle again at Encore anytime, simply by presenting the card.

After you receive your Encore transaction card, we will weigh and assess your steel at our facility while you wait, and then pay you according to current market rates. If you’re interested in learning what the metal market looks like on any particular day, just give us a call—we’ll be happy to answer any questions!

Steel recycling tips

In order to save yourself time waiting at our facility and ensure you get the most money for your scrap metal, there are a few simple guidelines to follow when it comes to bringing recyclable scrap metal to us.

  • Keep your scrap metal clean.
  • Whether it’s steel or another scrap metal, keeping recyclable materials clean helps protect our employees and equipment. We’re also usually able to pay more for clean material.
  • Strip away any insulation or other materials on your metal to increase its value.
  • Separate different metals to make the process faster.
  • If you’re recycling different types of steel and/or steel with other metals such as copper and aluminum, be sure to separate different metals before bringing them to our facility.
  • If we have to separate the metal ourselves, the process will take longer—and your scrap may not be worth as much.

Now is a great time to recycle steel!

Luckily for us and our many happy customers, the price of steel is up so far in 2017. The recovery from the 2007-2008 economic recession has led to increased manufacturing—which means there are plenty of factories out there that are hungry for steel!

Because recycled steel is cheaper, better for the environment, and just as easy and reliable  to use, most if not all of these factories would prefer to buy recycled steel. That means now is one of the best times in recent memory to recycle steel—and things only seem to be getting better.