Recycling of Zinc

Zinc is the principal raw material in galvanising. 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 galvanising 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 galvanising is an important source of recycled zinc:
Source: International Zinc AssociationRecycling of Galvanised Products

Brass scrap 42%
Galvanising 27%
Die casting scrap 16%
Steel industry filter dust 6%
Zinc roof sheet/semi-products 6%
Chemical industry 2%
Other 1%

The presence of zinc coating on steel does not restrict its recyclability. Galvanised steel is recycled with other steel scrap in the steel production process; it volatilizes early in the process and is collected for reprocessing.



Recycling of Zinc - Hot Dip Galvanising
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