recycling in nigeria

Recycling in the Nigerian Steel Industry

Posted on Posted in Recycling

Recycling in Nigeria

Steel is one of the world’s most recycled products. In fact, it is 100 percent recyclable, which means its life cycle is potentially continuous as time goes on. Steel scrap is a necessary component and vital ingredient in the production of new steel. Recycling companies in Nigerian in recent days are doing their best towards steel recycle.

The Nigerian steel industry has always been a good recycler as most steel companies in Nigeria use and recycle already made and damaged steel products for their productions. But in recent years, with growing community awareness and sensitization of the benefits of recycling, the industry has made even stronger moves to reuse as much steel as possible in the Nigerian steel industry.

Related: How to start Iron Steel supply business in Nigeria

recycling in Nigeria: Sources of Scrap

Although all steel can be potentially recycled, some is – for all practical purposes – unavailable. This includes steel used in permanent public works and buildings, and steel which wears away in such applications as grinding balls and liners for crushers.

However, the great majority of steel is available for reuse. It comes from a variety of sources, including scrap generated within steel plants (known as home scrap); off-cuts generated by manufacturers (prompt industrial scrap); and steel locked up in items that have come to the end of their useful lives (obsolete scrap).

In Australia, about 65 percent of steel available for recycling goes back into the making of new steel. Each year, scrap merchants process about 1.9 million tonnes of ferrous scrap. Steel scrap is not a uniform commodity and users have different requirements, depending on the nature of their plant and the characteristics of the products they make. Regardless, the scrap needs to undergo a certain amount of processing. This varies according to the chemical composition and size of the scrap. Potential hazards such as closed containers also need to be removed.

At our integrated steel plant in Port Kembla, steel scrap makes up about 17 to 20 percent of the material that goes into the basic oxygen steel making (BOS) furnace. As well as providing a source of feed, scrap is used to control the temperature generated by the chemical reactions in the BOS process.

Steel Plant Scraps

In addition to the scrap collected by merchants, the Australian steel industry itself generates about one million tonnes each year. Some of this is recovered as slab, billet and bloom off-cuts, and from slag which is a by-product during the steel making process.

The rest is residue from the rolling mill process and includes off-cuts and material rejected under quality inspection procedures. Blue Scope Steel’s operations produce about 82 per cent of Australia’s crude steel. The scrap produced, together with limited quantities of post-industrial scrap, is recycled.

Steel Product Lifespans

Buildings 20-60
Major industrial and power plant 40
Heavy industrial machinery 30
Rails 25
Consumer durables 7-15
Vehicles – all types 5-15
Steel cans <1


The factors that determine the extent to which steel is recycled are:

  • The specifications of the final product;
  • The ability of the recycled product to perform as a substitute;
  • The costs of collection and smelting (which include energy, labor and capital costs); and
  • Technical limitations.

Scrap Availability

The approximate 35 percent of steel scrap currently not recycled in Nigeria is made up of tin can scrap, wire and reinforcing mesh, remote obsolete mining plant and structures, and undercover foundation and heavy reinforced steel. The bulk of scrap that is recycled is generated in western and eastern states. This is because of the greater potential supplies and the lower collection and transport costs arising from higher densities of population and industries.

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One thought on “Recycling in the Nigerian Steel Industry

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