v2.4.0.6
Document and Entity Information (USD $)
12 Months Ended
Aug. 31, 2011
Feb. 28, 2011
Oct. 12, 2011
Class A Common Stock [Member]
Oct. 12, 2011
Class B Common Stock [Member]
Entity Information [Line Items]        
Entity Registrant Name SCHNITZER STEEL INDUSTRIES INC      
Entity Central Index Key 0000912603      
Current Fiscal Year End Date --08-31      
Entity Filer Category Large Accelerated Filer      
Document Type 10-K      
Document Period End Date Aug. 31, 2011      
Document Fiscal Year Focus 2011      
Document Fiscal Period Focus FY      
Amendment Flag false      
Entity Common Stock, Shares Outstanding     24,183,138 3,048,522
Entity Well-known Seasoned Issuer Yes      
Entity Voluntary Filers No      
Entity Current Reporting Status Yes      
Entity Public Float   $ 1,504,015,968