Steel is the most widely used metal and most recycled material on earth. Each year the amount of steel that is recycled is double that of all other recycled materials combined; that includes glass, aluminum, paper and plastics. Steel can be recycled over and over without loss of strength.
Electric Arc Furnaces (EAFs), like Bayou Steel Group LaPlace, are among the world’s largest recyclers. EAFs produce steel utilizing almost 100% scrap metal as feedstock. The recycling of scrap steel plays a significant role in energy conservation, since the steel from scrap requires 25% less energy than the steel produced from iron ore and coke. Additionally the recycling of steel eliminates millions of tons of waste that might otherwise occupy valuable space in landfills.
Over 14 million automobiles are recycled each year, a recycling rate of 113%. Shredders can turn a car into fist sized pieces in less than a minute. Other recycling rates include: Appliances at 90%; Steel cans at 67%; Structural steel at 98%; and Reinforcement steel at 70%.
Bayou Steel, one of the largest recyclers in Louisiana, began operations in 1981. A sustainability leader, the facility began operating an automobile shredder in 1995 as well as a barge wrecking operation and full-service scrap yard. It is one of the few domestic structural steel producers with an on-site scrap shredder and full-service ferrous processing operations. The facility is committed to operating in a safe and environmentally responsible manner. In 1999, Bayou Steel became the first EAF steel manufacturer to attain ISO 14001 certification for its environmental management system (EMS). Bayou Steel employees are committed to effectively performing all activities in order to meet environmental objectives.
Bayou Steel’s objectives for environmental quality are:
1) Protect public health and the environment through pollution prevention and continual improvement of our operations;
2) Exceed the requirements of relevant environmental legislation and regulations;
3) Regularly review progress toward environmental targets and goals; and
4) Be recognized as a good corporate citizen.
The LaPlace facility recycled/melted approximately 80 million tons of scrap metal in 2016. The shredder facility recycled approximately 164 million pounds of scrap metal in 2016.
The off-site emissions reported are transfers of “shredded fluff”, including foam and fabric from automobile seats, dashboards, and other plastic parts from automobiles and appliances. The majority of this off-site transfer is in the form of zinc which is properly landfilled.
Bayou Steel LaPlace employs approximately 385 persons. Fifty (50) percent of the employees live in the tri-parish area. The steelmaking facility has operated in St. John Parish for 36 years.