Recovering More &
Creating Quality Materials
At Schnitzer we are on a continuous journey to recover more metal and recyclables from the feedstock we process and improve the metal content of the commodities we produce. Our strategic investments in advanced metal recovery systems, innovative recycling programs for both metal and nonmetal materials, and technology upgrades to our steel manufacturing process illustrate our commitment to maximizing the sustainability of our products and services. The new technologies encompass advanced copper separation, advanced aluminum separation, and primary nonferrous recovery. In fiscal 2020 and 2021 we commissioned five new systems. We expect to complete the commissioning of the remaining eight systems in fiscal 2022.
Advanced Metal Recovery Technology Systems
While ferrous metal makes up the overwhelming majority of Schnitzer’s recycled metal products by weight—more than 93 percent—we are implementing advanced separation and processing systems to meet the increasing demand for more refined grades of recycled nonferrous metal.
These new technologies improve the recovery rate and purity of specific materials like aluminum and copper.
In 2021 we completed technology upgrades with the objective of enhancing our ability to separate shredded metals into furnace-ready commodities and recover even more metals from the recyclable materials we process.
Our Advanced Metal Recovery Technology Systems are targeted to recover more ferrous and nonferrous metals found in household appliances and vehicles while maintaining stringent safety standards and minimizing residual materials sent to landfills. Our Advanced Aluminum Separation Technology Systems precisely identify and efficiently sort various grades of metal in our nonferrous “Zorba” product. Our upgraded cable processing systems allow us to cut insulated copper wire into small pieces and separate copper material from plastic, producing both greater volume and a higher-quality copper to meet the stringent standards set by our downstream smelting customers.
All together, these strategic investments are expected to increase Schnitzer’s available product line and allow our facilities to extract a greater volume of ferrous and nonferrous metal, while also reducing material sent to landfills. These technology advancements improve our ability to competitively market our products to both domestic and international customers. The rollout of these new technologies is anticipated to be completed in fiscal 2022, with total capital expenditures estimated to be $115 million, of which $77 million has been invested, including $36 million during fiscal 2021.
of the nonmetal material that we process is beneficially reused as alternative daily cover in landfills, supporting the conservation of more than 1.8 million cubic meters of topsoil.