Steel Recycling in New Zealand - Pink Bins

You may or may not be surprised to learn that steel is the world’s most recyclable material.

For us at Pink Bins, recycling is pretty important. So, from our Manukau, South Auckland plant, we recycle many materials including cardboard, timber, e-waste, green waste and — you guessed right — steel.

In this post we explain a little bit about the recycling of steel. If you find this post useful, please share. We also welcome your comments.

The never-ending life of steel

An average of 85% of the steel in New Zealand buildings is recovered for recycling. As for steel packaging, that figure is around 68%. The great thing about steel is that it can be recycled over and over again without any degradation in quality.

Where does the steel go?

In New Zealand, most scrap metal is despatched to either Pacific Steel in Auckland or shipped overseas. About 300,000 tonnes of scrap metal is recycled at Pacific Steel’s Otahuhu plant annually. From this scrap metal fencing wire and reinforcing rods are made.

What’s the point of recycling?

Well, if you’re a regular reader of this blog, the reasons for recycling are obvious: the more we recycle the fewer natural resources we need to make new products. This of course, is good for Mother Earth, but there are sound economic reasons, too.

For example, manufacturing steel from recycled material can save a massive 75% on energy costs. And this doesn’t take into account cost savings on transportation, mining and landfill.

Now, on the subject of landfill, it costs $10 per tonne to dump waste in New Zealand. So, it goes without saying that the less waste, including steel, consigned to landfill, the cheaper waste disposal is. At Pink Bins, we are able to pass on those savings to our customers.

Incidentally, it costs about 15 times more to use landfill in Britain and parts of Australia. As Auckland City Council strives to reduce landfill, we wouldn’t be surprised if costs eventually rise here in New Zealand, too.

Some more figures

According to Pacific Steel, here are some of the savings for every tonne of recycled steel:

  • 1.1 tonnes of iron ore
  • 0.6 tonnes of coal
  • 40% less water used.

So, it makes sense to recycle, doesn’t it?

What do you think?

Did you find this post useful? We hope so. Please share and we welcome your comments.