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 advocates on issues related to transportation and infrastructure, including:
- Investment Needed in Infrastructure. ISRI strongly supports efforts to invest and improve our country’s aging infrastructure and is advising congressional leaders on the industry’s needs for a 21st-century transportation system to efficiently transport raw materials and feedstocks to manufacturers throughout the nation and the globe, including increased capacity and investment in all modes of transportation, covering rail, surface, and waterways. Further, ISRI is advocating that investments in infrastructure development projects employ products that utilize recycled and recyclable materials wherever economically and technologically possible (e.g., use of rubberized asphalt in road construction and use of rebar from ferrous scrap).
- Restoration of STB Oversight of Rail Transportation of Scrap. ISRI advocates a final promulgation of the Surface Transportation Board’s (STB) 2016 proposed rule revoking the rail exemption for ferrous steel scrap. The rule is needed to protect recyclers—most of which are captive rail shippers for at least a portion of their traffic—from the railroad’s current exercise of market power by giving them access to effective remedies for insufficient and unsatisfactory service through the STB. ISRI is urging the timely release of the proposal so it can quickly move to final rule. ISRI further encourages the STB to conduct a waybill analysis for paper and plastics so that the rail exemption for the movement by rail for these scrap commodities can also be revoked.
- Access to Reliable and Affordable Ocean Shipping. With more than $17 billion of scrap being exported annually, the recycling industry is vulnerable to disruptions that affect access to ports and shipping. The recycling industry was significantly affected by the West Coast port dispute several years ago, the poor implementation of SOLAS weight measurement requirements, and most recently the Hanjin bankruptcy. ISRI will call upon members of Congress and federal authorities to intervene if necessary to prevent future disruptions, and ISRI will provide stakeholders with critical economic data on port use and implications of port disruptions on the recycling industry.