The Green Attributes of Stainless
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- Very High Recycled Content
Stiles stainless steel typically has a 80% or greater overall recycled content depending on the product and application.
- Extremely Long Life Cycle
Because stainless steel is so durable, products made from it last much longer than those made from lesser materials. This long life cycle benefits the environment as new material and energy resources will be needed far less often to replace failed products.
- 100% Recyclability
Scrap stainless steel has considerable value, so it isn't discarded and won't end up in a landfill. Unlike many other recycled materials, stainless steel isn't "downgraded" during the recycling process: Stainless steel scrap can be re-melted to make new stainless steel of a grade equal to the old material; it can even be upgraded if needed with additional alloying elements.
- No Need for Additional Coatings
Stainless steel's corrosion resistance is inherent in the metal and does not depend on protective coatings. Using stainless steel in natural finishes can eliminate adverse environmental impacts associated with paints and solvents including off-gassing of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), paint flaking and the need for periodic re-coatings that add more unwanted chemicals to the environment.
- Very Low Maintenance
Stainless steel can usually be cleaned with mild detergents and a simple water rinse. Solvents, acids, bleaches, abrasives and other harsh chemicals that could harm the environment are not required.
- No Corrosion Loss
The metal loss that occurs when conventional carbon steel rusts can add potentially toxic elements to the environment and the lost metal can never be recycled. Stainless steel corrosion losses are negligible and 100% of the original material will be available for eventual recycling.
- Modern Manufacturing Plants
Today's high-tech mills produce stainless steel in computer-controlled electric arc furnaces using recycled scrap as the primary raw material. Manufacturing processes are optimized for the most efficient energy use. Air emissions are filtered and solid particles are processed for metals recovery. Liquid wastes are treated and reused to the maximum extent feasible. Trims and other discarded pieces of stainless steel are collected and returned to the furnace as recycled in-house scrap.