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The nickel market has gone bonkers

Mar 21, 2022
Russia invading Ukraine is a big reason that prices skyrocketed.. But it's not the whole story.
A worker at a nickel mining company in northwestern Russia. The price of nickel — used in making stainless steel, electric vehicle batteries and more — shot up this month after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP via Getty Images

The world's unlikely capital of heavy metal

Sep 7, 2018
When a tiny, rural Finnish town of 3,000 residents earned the title it presented a wild opportunity.
Finnish thrash metal band Stam1na performing at the 2014 Rakuuna Rock festival in Lappeenranta, Finland. The band's hometown Lemi, population 3,076, was recently crowned the Capital of Metal.
Tuomas Vitkainen/Wikimedia Commons

Steel broke Pittsburgh’s heart once. It won’t happen again

Mar 2, 2018
The Trump administration’s decision to slap stiff tariffs on imported aluminum and steel won’t make much difference to Pittsburgh. Nearly all the steel jobs in the city now are behind a desk. Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

The economics of mattress recycling: the spring's the thing

Nov 29, 2016
Millions of mattresses are thrown out each year, creating an expensive challenge for waste managers.
Mattresses piled on the warehouse floor at Goodwill Industries in Duluth, Minnesota. Ultimately, as part of the recycling process, each of these mattresses will be deconstructed and separated into component parts.
Britta Greene

Turning junk metal into a livelihood

Jul 9, 2013
In cities like Milwaukee, where unemployment hovers around 10 percent, scrapping for junk metal has become a way to earn a living.