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ISRI Asks U.S. Department of Treasury to Lift Moratorium on Coin Repurchase Program

(Washington, DC) - In a letter this week to U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and U.S. Mint Principal Deputy Director Rhett Jeppson, Institute of Scrap Recycling industries (ISRI) President Robin Wiener requested that the U.S. Mint reconsider the current blanket moratorium on the repurchase of mutilated coins and requested an opportunity to meet with the appropriate representatives of the Mint and the Treasury to discuss this matter in further detail.

The moratorium is having a significant detrimental impact on U.S. based recyclers who, suffering from low prices and very slim margins for several years, are now facing additional financial difficulty because of their inability to redeem the mutilated coins they have in inventory.

Recycling facilities across the United States have been recovering coins from scrap for decades. The business started when recyclers would find loose coins that had fallen to the ground during the processing for recycling of cars, vending machines, and other products. The business evolved with advances in sorting technology and the advent of new machinery capable of identifying very small items.  As a result, the ability to purposefully recover coins in significant quantities grew quickly, and became an integral part of many recycling companies’ operations and product lines.  

“U.S. domestic recyclers, who have been suffering from low prices and very slim margins over the past few years, are facing additional financial difficulty because of their inability to redeem the mutilated coins they have in inventory,” said ISRI President Robin Wiener.  “While ISRI fully supports enforcement activities against those companies that abuse the redemption program through the attempted sale of counterfeit coins, there is no need for a blanket moratorium that effectively punishes all those who legitimately rely on the program for their ongoing businesses.”

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The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. (ISRI) is the "Voice of the Recycling Industry™." ISRI represents more than 1,300 companies in 21 chapters in the U.S. and 35 countries that process, broker, and consume scrap commodities, including metals, paper, plastics, glass, rubber, electronics, and textiles. With headquarters in Washington, DC, the Institute provides education, advocacy, safety and compliance training, and promotes public awareness of the vital role recycling plays in the U.S. economy, global trade, the environment and sustainable development. Generating more than $105 billion annually in U.S. economic activity, the scrap recycling industry provides nearly half a million Americans with good jobs. For more information about ISRI, please visit www.isri.org.

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