From the results, some of them obviously were.
Your stance is that you can throw steel into a concrete pour and it doesn't do anything because, hell, rebar is steel. That's like saying that you can pour gas anywhere into a car since a car runs on gas. You know, nonsense.
Like I said, if you want to learn, Google the subject. I'll give you a head start. This is from Wiki on reinforced concrete:
"Common failure modes of steel reinforced concrete Reinforced concrete can fail due to inadequate strength, leading to mechanical failure, or due to a reduction in its durability. Corrosion and freeze/thaw cycles may damage poorly designed or constructed reinforced concrete. When rebar corrodes, the oxidation products (rust) expand and tends to flake, cracking the concrete and unbonding the rebar from the concrete."
And this is from the Canadian Research Council:
"PREVENTING REBAR CORROSION IN CONCRETE STRUCTURES by Shiyuan Qian
This article reviews the issue of rebar corrosion, discusses some of the preventive technologies available, and presents information on recent studies conducted by NRCs Institute for Research in Construction.
The corrosion of reinforcing steel bars is one of the main causes of deterioration of reinforced concrete structures in North America. It has become a serious, widespread problem, with repair costs now in the billions of dollars annually. Whether the corroding rebars are seen exposed on delaminated bridge decks or piers, or observed in damaged parking garages, engineers and contractors are all too familiar with the problem, as are anxious property owners who call on them to provide solutions."
It's either odd that; 1). these guys are in collusion and making this stuff up or 2). you've never noticed it.
My bet is on the second.
The main reason that the OP shouldn't throw the scrap iron in the steps is because it is wasting money. The second reason is that the random steel "reinforcing" will eventually cause problems.
I'm taking the liberty of cross posting this to some other groups with more knowledge on construction than this one. Let's see who weighs in and which way the verdict goes.