Putting Americans to Work
A 2011 independent study by John Dunham and Associates shows that the U.S. scrap recycling industry is a major economic engine powerful enough to support nearly 460,000 jobs here in the United States and generate $90.1 billion in economic activity annually, including $10.3 billion in tax revenues for governments across the country. The industry is a multi-billion-dollar “Made in America” manufacturing success story.
Scrap recycling boosts economies from small towns in rural America to major cities and beyond through international trade. The result is economic and environmental sustainability for our nation and our world. Scrap materials processed in the United States are sold both here at home and exported to other countries for manufacture into new products. Rather than encouraging the use of virgin materials, America’s scrap supply is more than sufficient to meet domestic demand for recycled materials. In addition, U.S. scrap exports directly and indirectly support some 162,000 U.S. jobs and generated $30 billion in export sales in 2010, reducing our trade deficit.
Additionally, U.S. scrap recycling industry is not only a thriving economic engine, but also a pivotal player in environmental protection, resource conservation, energy savings and sustainability. The industry recycled more than 130 million metric tons of materials in 2010, transforming outdated or obsolete scrap into useful raw materials needed to produce a range of new products.
While many in the public policy world talk about the need for more green jobs, the scrap recycling industry has already been creating these environmentally friendly jobs and other opportunities here in the United States for decades.