Long term this is self regulating. If the price of steel goes up, buyers will spend the extra money on better qualities and compensate for the difference in price by using less of it. If the price of copper goes up, more scrap copper will be recycled. Look out for wire thiefs! Should the price of copper and steel remain high, mines that would have been unprofitable to operate before will open. And so on.
I have an arrangment with a former spark that I work with - he is a scrounger for SS, Al, Brass & CU. He'll give me dismounted fixtrues, shelves, lamps and such, and I give him all my Al cans, and wire scraps from jobs.
So far, it's been a mutually beneficial relationship. Less junk in the dumpster, too!
It amazes me that in the western world we are now frequently being urged to conserve resources, yet we now have a much higher dump-and-buy-new mentality than ever before.
Government is one of the worst offenders. At one govt. office in a town near me they did a full refurbishment job about 5 years ago -- New desks and chairs, all new signs, new wiring, the works.
I went by there a few weeks ago and there were signs up saying the office was closed for refurbishment. I saw it again last week, and the whole place has been changed yet again. What a waste -- Of both resources and tax-payers' money.