Advocacy Agenda:Transportation & Infrastructure Development

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, including:

  • Investment for Infrastructure Development. ISRI strongly supports efforts to invest and improve America’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 provide incentives for using products that utilize recycled and recyclable materials wherever economically and technologically possible.


  • Restoration of STB Oversight of Rail Transportation of Scrap. ISRI is pushing for 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 – many of whom 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 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. Additionally, ISRI is fighting to determine that the railroads have ‘market domination’ over scrap commodities and deserve direct access to the STB to resolve disputes in a timely and cost-effective manner.ISRI is also working to push back on Precision Schedule Railroading that has led to demurrage charges between 600 and 1000% over previous years with no improvement in service.

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