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Spain is top European steel recycler

Keywords: Tags  steel recycling, Unesid, Spanish steel association, Spain, Europe, European recycling, Steel First, Alexandra Chapman

LONDON — Spain recycles a larger proportion of steel each year than any other European country, according to Spanish steel association Unesid.

In Spain, 80.6 percent of domestically produced steel is recycled, the group told AMM sister publication Steel First. Italy ranks second by recycling 77 percent of its own steel, and Germany is third with 44.7 percent.

Europe, on average, recycles 50 percent of its steel, while the worldwide average is 40 percent, according to Unesid environmental manager James Oliver.

For every tonne of steel recycled, Spain’s steel industry saves as much as 1.5 tonnes of iron while reducing water usage by 40 percent and energy consumption by 80 percent, the Madrid-based organization said.

Steel is the second-most-recycled material in the world, after oil products.

In 2011, Spain produced 15,504 tonnes of steel, compared with 16,343 tonnes a year earlier, Unesid data reveal.

Internal demand for scrap in Spain remains high, scrap dealers told Steel First in October.

"Spain still imports more than 2 million tonnes of scrap per year," a dealer said.

A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Steel First.

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