Zinc is the principal raw material in galvanizing. Zinc is an inherently recyclable non-ferrous metal. It can be recycled indefinitely without any loss of physical or chemical properties. This is a major advantage for the Hot Dip Galvanizing process ensuring its environmental sustainability and its cost of effectiveness.
About 30% (3 million tonnes) of the world’s zinc consumption is from recycled sources. A figure that is increasing with increased environmental awareness and improvements in recycling technology. Estimates suggest that 80% of zinc available for recycling is in fact recycled. This means that much of the zinc in use today has probably been used before.
For example, the car you drive contains up to 10 kg of recycled zinc in its galvanised body panels and when it is discarded these panels can be readily made into new parts of identical quality. Even the zinc oxide used to cure your tyres is recoverable to make new tyres.
The tables below illustrates how galvanizing is an important source of recycled zinc:
Source: International Zinc Association
Recycling of Galvanized Products
|Zinc roof sheet
The presence of zinc coating on steel does not restrict its recyclability. Galvanized steel is recycled with other steel scrap in the steel production process; it volatilizes early in the process and is collected for reprocessing.