Waste and Recycling

U. S. Steel is committed to reducing waste. Recycling is the main way we reduce our reliance on landfills, improving sustainability.

We recycle substantial quantities of scrap metal and steelmaking coproducts and byproducts. In 2023, our North America operations recycled approximately 2.4 million metric tons of blast furnace slag, 96,911 metric tons of Basic Oxygen Process steel slag, and 151,962 metric tons of electric arc furnace slag, selling the slag for use as aggregate and in highway and other construction.

Because of steel’s physical properties, steel products can be recycled at the end of their useful life without loss of quality. In fact, steel is infinitely recyclable, making steel products more affordable, and contributing to a circular economy. U. S. Steel’s history of recycling is long. In 2023, we recycled more than 5.2 million metric tons of purchased and produced steel scrap.

5.2M+ metric tons of purchased and produced steel scrap recycled in 2023.

U. S. Steel’s Big River Steel Works set a plant-wide recycling goal to increase the quantity of waste recycled by 10% and is continuing to implement initiatives to reach that goal. Big River Steel Works plans to set hazardous waste reduction goals in the near future.

The Clairton facility is focused on continuously improving waste diversion in operations. For more information, please see our Clairton Waste Diversion infographic.

To see our waste-related highlights, goals and progress, click here


Total generation of hazardous waste (metric tons)202,489
Total generation of non-hazardous waste (metric tons)2,087,486
Total weight of hazardous waste recycled (metric tons)137,755
Total weight of non-hazardous waste recycled (metric tons)639,134

*2023 waste data was not available at time of publishing; therefore 2022 is the most recent waste data. Waste was not reported in 2021.

Circularity and Waste Diversion at Clairton


Environmental Excellence Campaign

Our priority, at U. S. Steel, is to operate our facilities in an environmentally responsible manner and to take steps to protect and preserve our shared natural resources; comply with environmental laws and regulations as well as our environmental policies, practices, procedures and initiatives; strive to increase our energy efficiency, reduce emissions and conserve energy and other resources; prioritize the reuse and recycling of materials into our products to minimize our environmental footprint and improve sustainability; and commit to being an environmental steward in the communities in which we operate.

In 2023, U. S. Steel produced various environmental themed videos to educate employees on recycling and waste reduction during the holidays, discarding home electronics, stormwater runoff management, wetland protection, improving indoor air quality, landscaping and biodiversity, and overall simple sustainability tips.

Crates to Gardens

See how U. S. Steel’s Big River Steel 1 (BR1) recycles wood crating into garden mulch, supporting cafeteria garden beds. Intern Matthew Cook revitalized these beds, growing produce for meals. His project included designing a rainwater system. Matthew enjoyed the experience and hopes to return to U. S. Steel after college.


Supporting greenery with the use of recovered wastewater solids

USSK has over time recovered more than 310,989 metric tons of solids from its wastewater treatment plant. Those solids are now being reused to reduce dust and support greening on an area of approximately 82,500 m2. The amount of solids reused this way has been increasing annually by an average of 22%.

3 million m3 treated wastewater returned to Hornad River located near the
U. S. Steel Kosice facility.