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Is Stainless Steel Recyclable? How to Properly Dispose It

stainless steel gutter

Stainless steel is one of the most commonly found materials in everyday use due to its durability and long-lasting properties. Stainless steel is an incredibly sturdy and strong material used to make many items, from jewelry to cutlery. This material is entirely sustainable as there are many ways to reuse, upcycle, and repurpose stainless steel.

Read the article below to find ways to recycle this excellent material while staying eco-friendly and sustainable.

divider 4 Can You Recycle Stainless Steel?

The recycling process for steel, unlike plastic, can occur countless times without losing quality. Stainless steel is technically an alloy of iron, aluminum, nickel, chromium, and other metals. It also contains additional components such as carbon and silicon. Stainless steel is a high-quality material and has high recycling values. Around 60% of every stainless steel item is made with recycled content. This number proves how sustainable this material actually is. The incredible thing about stainless steel is that objects made of this material will hardly ever become waste at the end of their life. They almost always have a useful purpose or can be recycled into something valuable.

Benefits of Recycling Stainless Steel

One of the biggest worries of our modern society is the environmental impacts and changes that are happening. There are many things you as an individual can do to contribute to our society and become a conscientious member. Recycling is an excellent way to reduce our carbon footprints, especially those emitted by large businesses and industries. Recycling stainless steel has many benefits, from being an eco-friendly solution for dealing with waste to being cost-effective.

If a material such as stainless steel can serve for many years as a valuable item, being recycled repeatedly, there is no need to dispose of it as regular waste. Every bit of potential waste must be diverted from landfills whenever possible. Recycling stainless steel reduces the need to deplete nature’s resources.

Hands of skilled workers using scissors cutting stainless steel rain gutters
Image By: MR. AEKALAK CHIAMCHAROEN, Shutterstock

How to Dispose of Stainless Steel Properly

While stainless steel is not toxic, it needs to be handled properly. Every metal, including stainless steel, is non-biodegradable, so each individual needs to know the proper recycling method for these materials. Instead of letting stainless steel lie in landfills for centuries, here are some better and wiser options for disposing of it.

1. Donating

With stainless steel items you don’t need anymore, you can always donate or give them out to people who may need them. You can search for people around you who may want to use these items, such as your friends, family, or neighbors. You can donate it to a charity if you cannot find anyone in your close surroundings. Make sure to clean or polish it before donating it to make it presentable.

2. Upcycling

Upcycling is one of the most sustainable ways to handle stainless steel objects. Upcycling means putting particular objects to use differently. If you, for example, have some steel pots or dishes no longer in use, you can upcycle them into garden containers for planting.

3. Selling

Stainless steel items are considered to be valuable, and you can surely find a customer, especially if you have a valuable item that is well preserved. If you are trying to sell jewelry or cutlery, try an antique store, thrift store, or sell online. If your objects are bigger and heavier, you can try selling them by their weight to a scrapyard.

modern stainless steel refrigerator
Image Credit: Sashkin, Shutterstock

4. Recycling

Recycling stainless steel objects should be your last resort, and it is one the easiest ways to handle stainless steel objects. If you have a good amount to recycle, you may even get compensation for it.

divider 4 Final Thoughts

Now that you understand how valuable stainless steel is, you won’t view your old items as waste but as new opportunities. Let your creativity flow and come up with innovative ways to reuse your old steel items from around your home. Of course, you can always recycle this amazing material and let it be used for a different purpose.

Featured Image Credit: MR. AEKALAK CHIAMCHAROEN, Shutterstock


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