Metals Recycling and Ferrous Resources
OmniSource is a major contributor to our environmental stewardship. It operates approximately 90 metals recycling locations and 11 automotive shredders throughout the Midwest and Southeastern United States. In 2014, OmniSource recycled over 5.5 million gross tons of ferrous material and over one billion pounds of nonferrous material.
Ferrous scrap comes from manufacturers and industrial plants, metal fabrication plants, machine shops and factories that generate industrial scrap. It also comes from scrap dealers, retail individuals, auto wreckers, and demolition firms, as well as obsolete scrap which includes post-consumer waste and automobile demolition. The nonferrous scrap comes from 3 primary sources:
- Manufacturers which generate or sell scrap aluminum, copper, stainless steel, and other nonferrous metals. OmniSource is able to maximize the value of the scrap these customers generate, while ensuring material is handled in an environmentally-friendly manner, and protecting its customers from issues such as loss, fraud and unauthorized use of their metals;
- Producers of electric wire, telecommunication service providers, aerospace, defense and recycling companies that generate copper wire, aluminum cans, and various other alloys;
- Retail individuals who sell material directly to OmniSource
In addition, OmniSource offers certified destruction of prototypes and other materials. OmniSource sells its metallic scrap material to steel mills and foundries, including Steel Dynamics mills, to be reintroduced into the manufacturing cycle. In addition to other refineries, OmniSource is a source of recycled raw copper material supplied to our SDI La Farga production facility, a joint venture that manufactures and markets various types of copper rod and wire.
At our Iron Dynamics (IDI) operation, we have employed many innovative processes that have reduced our environmental impact. IDI supplies liquid pig iron as a raw material to our Flat Roll Butler Division. In the production of that pig iron, IDI uses 100% waste material from steel mills as its iron source. This waste material is converted into liquid pig iron by IDI. This liquid pig iron, used at our Flat Roll Butler Division, reduces the energy consumption in our steelmaking process, and materially reduces the tap-to-tap time needed.
IDI is also performing trials using other steel production waste, including blast furnace dust and Basic Oxygen Furnace (BOF) slag. If not reused in the steelmaking process, this waste would end up in landfills.
Another example of environmental stewardship at IDI is our use of byproducts from the soybean and beverage industries. Using these byproducts reduces the amounts of natural gas and electricity otherwise required to heat our submerged arc furnace.
In addition to recycling byproducts, IDI is also focused on reducing emissions. Employees designed and commissioned equipment that captures the carbon monoxide emitted from furnaces and reuses it to fuel other furnaces in the facility. This innovation has reduced the plant's natural gas consumption by 750%.
Throughout all of SDI's facilities, we have an extensive recycling program that helps protect our environment by reducing millions of tons of landfill waste, preserving our natural resources and conserving water. Waste minimization has been achieved by reducing consumption, reusing materials, recycling, plant-wide projects, and employee-based initiatives. As we continue down the path of planned strategic growth, we recognize that being a good steward of our environment and of the communities where we work and live is essential. Just as we evaluate opportunities for future growth, we evaluate opportunities to improve our processes, equipment, and technology to reduce our physical impact on the environment.