The U.S. scrap recycling industry is an economic leader and job creator, generating more than $110 billion annually, supporting more than 531,000 workers and generating nearly $13 billion in federal, state and local tax revenues. ISRI works to strengthen these numbers on behalf of all our members.
The U.S. scrap recycling industry’s significant contributions to environmental protection, resource conservation, and sustainability can be enhanced by government policies (e.g., incentives for technology, a recognition that scrap is not waste and recycling is not disposal, etc.) that understand, recognize, and promote these benefits and their growth.
The scrap recycling industry depends both on domestic manufacturing and access to global markets. Scrap exports account for well over 25 percent of the industry’s economic activity and support more than 134,000 American jobs. U.S. exports totaled $19.2 billion in 2019, contributing more than $33 billion to the U.S. economy.
The recycling industry is highly dependent upon a modern and efficient transportation infrastructure to move scrap to market, whether it be by truck, rail, ship, or barge. Thus, ISRI looks forward to supporting transportation efforts and infrastructure development proposals that may be introduced in 2020 that advance the recycling industry’s needs.
ISRI is dedicated to the idea that our workers are our most precious commodities. It is for this reason that ISRI continually looks for opportunities to strengthen its workplace safety initiatives using all possible avenues, including partnerships and resources available through the U.S. government. We believe that continuation of these types of cooperative programs between OSHA and industry help to drive safe operating practices and enhance safety awareness and culture throughout the regulated community.
Many of the America’s original recyclers were immigrants whose ingenuity and hard work created what is today’s recycling industry, and we continue to employ immigrants throughout the country, including legal residents protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and workers in the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program. Many of these hardworking employees hold positions of responsibility in ISRI member companies.
The recycling industry is significantly impacted by regulatory policy made in agencies and departments across the U.S. Government. Thus, ISRI is continually monitoring and commenting on any and all regulations that have the potential to hinder recycling operations.