“The recycling industry continues to power America’s manufacturing base, creating jobs, generating tax revenue, and proving valuable feedstock for new products,” says Joe Pickard, chief economist for ISRI.

Pickard is referring to the recently released 2019 Economic Impact Study of the U.S.-based scrap recycling industry. The report is based on research conducted by John Dunham and Associates, and published by the Institute of Scrap Metal Recycling Industries (of which our sister company, K2 Castings, is a member).

In addition to providing positive environmental benefits (e.g. fewer recyclable materials in landfills and oceans, parks, etc.), the scrap recycling industry is responsible for more than 531,500 jobs and an economic impact of nearly $110 billion in the United States.

According to Pickard, the scrap recycling industry continues to “process more material into valuable commodities – 70% of which is used by U.S. manufacturers.”

Outside forces have impacted the scrap recycling industry in the last decade, including the Great Recession, which affected supply and demand and created wild price fluctuations. Fewer people purchasing household appliances or vehicles, for example, meant they held on to them longer, which in turn reduced scrap supply – a reduction that impacted many scrap recyclers in the U.S. and around the world.

Pickard notes the recycling industry’s ability to respond to these forces, and remain a strong economic force, is a testament to its strength and resiliency.

By the numbers

The scrap recycling industry recycled 138 million metric tons of materials in 2018 – transforming outdated or obsolete scrap into useful raw materials needed to produce a range of new products.

Recycling and brokerage operations in the US scrap recycling industry support 164,154 green jobs, including firms that supply the industry with recycled materials, such as auto yards and independent peddlers, as well as firms that supply machinery, trucks, and services to processors.

While export markets provide a needed outlet for the excess supply of scrap generated in the United States, 70 percent of all the recyclables processed in this country are consumed by domestic manufacturers. As the first link in the manufacturing supply chain, the scrap recycling industry provides the high value, environmentally friendly, and energy-saving raw materials that make America’s manufacturers more competitive in the global marketplace.

If you’re the owner of a scrap recycling facility, and you’ve been considering an upgrade or expansion, give us a call.

As the Owner’s Project Manager, we act on your behalf to ensure your complex, multi-million dollar project stays on track and on budget.

We also have years of experience in the scrap metal industry and can help you improve processing line and “tons out” efficiency.

Filed under: Industry News