Recycling Steel Update


Recycling Steel Update

Last October GIRO placed an article in the Sounder explaining how the global economy is effecting GIRO’s steel metal bin service.

For many years, recycling scrap steel has always been good business. Some of the benefits to the planet include:

  • reduced need to mine for virgin ore which is a non-renewable resource
  • recycling steel has reduced energy requirements in comparison to refining steel from pig iron
  • steel can be recycled indefinitely without losing any of its qualities
  • there is always an abundance of scrap steel available due to industry

For the last thirty years, China has been the main consumer of the world’s scrap steel. However, now China is producing a huge quantity of their own scrap steel and therefore is no longer buying from overseas. This is creating a glut in the North American market, which is driving the price down.

Over the last five years, we were averaging $55 per metric ton (pmt) for our scrap steel. This past year, we saw prices drop to $20 pmt, then a further drop to $0. We have been notified that we will be charged $150 each time our metal bin is removed. GIRO normally has the bin removed every ten days and replaced with an empty one. GIRO would like to continue to offer the metal bin service, but we will need to make some adjustments to our prices to offset these new costs.

Currently, we are asking $10 to drop off a large appliance. Now, we will be increasing this to $15 while also requesting a donation for any other scrap steel being dropped off in the metal bin.

The future forecast is always speculative; however Schnitzer Steel is expecting to see some recovery in steel prices by the summer 2016. Realistically it may be over a year before we see any real increase in market prices. Once the market stabilizes, GIRO will adjust its prices accordingly.

We appreciate your ongoing support with this matter.

Michelle MacEwen
General Manager
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Gabriola Island Recycling Organization

700 Tin Can Alley

Gabriola, BC V0R 1X3

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