Scrap Industry Pushing Economic Recovery

According to the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), the US scrap recycling industry rebounded sharply in 2010, generating $77 billion in revenues, rising 40 percent from $54 billion in 2009 when it was impacted by collapsing prices amid the global recession. ISRI’s latest report says that the industry added 10,000 jobs in 2010 and now employs over 130,000 people, paying an average wage of $66,704. The industry also indirectly supports an additional 321,500 jobs through suppliers and industry expenditures. “This Labor Day 450,000 people are working because of the strength of the U.S. scrap recycling industry,” said Robin Wiener, ISRI President. “This number will continue to grow with the recognition that the scrap recycling industry can boost our economy, improve our trade deficit, and protect our environment and natural resources.”

“This study illustrates very clearly that the U.S. scrap recycling industry is playing an important role in America’s economic recovery,” ISRI President Robin Wiener said. “Despite tough times, our industry is directly and indirectly putting more than 450,000 people to work while generating over $10 billion in tax revenue for federal, state and local governments. All this adds up to recognition that the scrap recycling industry must be allowed to grow so it can continue to boost our economy, put people to work protect our environment and help save energy. When people think of recycling, they think of the bin at the curb when in fact our industry is a multi-billion-dollar ‘Made in America’ manufacturing success story.”
The U.S. scrap recycling industry is particularly important because its operations are so widespread. In fact, the total economic activity generated by scrap recycling in the United States is more than $90.6 billion, making the industry similar in size to the nation’s forestry and fishing industries combined.
As reported in Waste Business Journal

The economic study can be viewed in its entirety at The site is equipped with an interactive map that will allow users to not only see the impact that the US scrap recycling industry is having nationally, but also the contributions that are being made to individual states and congressional districts.


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