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    Indian steel industry features a large number of small steel producers who utilise scrap steel with other inputs for steel making. This means that instead of using iron for steel production, these small steel businesses are recycling scrap steel to produce primary steel products. The government of India introduced steel scrap recycling policy to help these manufacturers and make the industry environment friendly.

    Steel scrap has become the primary raw material for secondary steel producers of India. The primary sector has also started using scrap during BOF steel making up to 15% to improve efficiency and minimise cost of production.

    The scrapping policy seeks to ensure that quality scrap is available for the steel industry for steel production. With the help of the scrap steel policy, the Steel Ministry is trying to develop a globally competitive steel industry by adopting state of the art environment friendly technologies.

    According to the steel scrap recycling policy of Ministry of Steel, each tonne of scrap used for steel production can save 1.1 tonne of iron ore, 630 kg of coking coal, and 55 kg of limestone. It reduces energy consumption by 16-17% and cuts down water consumption and GHG emissions by 40% and 58%.


    Steel scrap recycling policy 2019

    India’s steel scrap recycling policy aims to standardise the process for steel recycling in the country. The policy defines a working model which seeks to create a mechanism for treating waste streams and residues produced from dismantling and shredding facilities in compliance with Hazardous & Other Wastes Rules, 2016.

    Entrepreneurs can establish collection and/or dismantling centers for the collection and sorting of scrap steel. The policy also dictates that these facilities should be located close to a scrap processing center. This proposal is to minimise the logistics challenges of transporting scrap steel to steel recycling centers.

    There are many entrepreneurs who have dipped their toes into the steel recycling business. Steel scrap recycling policy is a set of guidelines for these entrepreneurs. The policy helps them to understand the compliances and other regulations to be followed while setting up a recycling business.

    Also read: Supply chain challenges in steel

    Here are a few guidelines dismantling centers must follow:

    • The dismantling facilities should be set up in a large area having adequate space for vehicular movement and storage of scrap received.
    • Units dealing with End-of-Life Vehicles (ELV) shall require material handling machines to minimise human intervention and create safe workplaces.
    • The facility shall be equipped with depollution system, preferably with zero discharge system.
    • Dismantling should be done with the help of the best available technology.


    Here are a few guidelines scrap processing centers must follow:

    • The units should have appropriate equipment and use the best available technology for the activities including shredding, shearing, baling, slitting, etc.
    • Centers should be equipped with radioactive detection equipment.
    • The facility must have the best available technology/disposal plans in place for processing residue.
    • The establishment should have adequate space for equipment, storage and handling of segregated waste streams.
    • It should have trained manpower to manage the facility in a safe and environmental-friendly manner.

    Also read: Difference between integrated steel plants and mini steel plants

    Compliances to be followed by steel recycling businesses

    There is a list of rules published by the steel ministry that are to be followed by steel recycling businesses:

    • Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, amended 1991
    • Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, amended 1988
    • The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, amended 1987
    • Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management and Transboundary Movement) Rules 2016
    • Guidelines for environmentally sound management of ELVs, Nov 2016 laid down by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB)- AIS 219
    • Waste regulations notified by the Ministry of Environment Forest (MoEF&CC), as applicable for the management and recycling of ELVs
    • Atomic energy (radiation protection) rule 2004
    • Solid Wastes Management Rules, 2016
    • The Ozone Depleting Substances (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000
    • The Batteries (Management and Handling) Rules, 2001
    • The E-waste (Management) Rules 2016
    • The Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules, 2018
    • Factory Act 1948 along with amendments 1987


    Why is the government pushing for steel recycling?

    Statistics suggest that in the last 8 years, India’s steel production shot up from 80 million per annum to 120 million tonnes per annum. However, the use of scrap in this production was a mere 30 million tonnes. Considering the advantages of recycled steel and India’s aim to increase steel production by 2030, government is pushing for the use of recycled steel.

    Given below are a few benefits of recycling steel:

    • Eco friendly
    • Less energy consumption compared to traditional steel manufacturing
    • Reduces the price of steel production
    • Steel retains its quality even after being recycled
    • Recycling reduces piles of steel waste in scrapyards thereby preventing landfills
    • Steel can be recycled easily


    How is steel recycled?

    Given below is the process followed for steel recycling:

    Step 1: Collection

    Steel is collected by dismantling centers from steel recycling bins, scrapyards and junkyards.

    Step 2: Sorting

    The steel collected is sorted into stainless steel objects, steel cans, rods, etc.

    Step 3: Melting

    The steel sorted is melted in a steel making furnace at a high temperature.

    Step 4: Converting

    The molten metal is poured into moulds that shape them into slabs, steel sheets, etc.


    Use of recycled steel is crucial for the sustainability of steel businesses around the world. Producing advanced, highly-recycled steel products can reduce steel’s environmental footprint. Since steel can be recycled without the loss of quality and strength, it can be used by a variety of industries eliminating the high energy consumption and production costs associated with manufacturing steel from iron ore.

    Priyanka Babu

    Priyanka is a seasoned content marketing professional with more than 6 years of experience crafting various forms of business and technology sector content. Her insightful writing tackles critical issues faced by small-scale manufacturing businesses. Priyanka’s clear and concise communication empowers businesses to make informed decisions and thrive in today’s dynamic business environment.