• Press Release

National Manufacturing Day Showcases Key Role of Recycling in U.S. Economy

Scrap recycling is the first link in the manufacturing supply chain

(Washington, DC) –The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) today joins in the celebration of National Manufacturing Day by highlighting the many positive contributions the recycling industry to the U.S. manufacturing landscape. In 2015 alone, more than 130 million metric tons of metal, paper, plastic, glass, textiles, rubber, and electronics were manufactured in specification grade commodities by the U.S. scrap recycling industry.

“National Manufacturing Day helps highlight the vital role recyclers play in America’s overall economy, and the variety of ways recycling is involved in one’s everyday life,” said Robin Wiener, president of ISRI. “As the first link in the manufacturing supply chain, the recycling industry provides a source of raw material to other manufacturers that is environmentally friendly compared to virgin material. In doing so, the industry has become a leader in economic output, job creation, resource sustainability, energy savings, and global trade.”

The use of scrap dates back to the beginning of human existence itself. Since the dawn of civilization and the earliest attempts at manufacturing, humans have recognized the intrinsic value of scrap and the benefits associated with using and re-using existing products to create new goods. As U.S. manufacturing ramped up and became more complex in response to society’s expanding needs, scrap recycling took on even greater importance, adapting not only to market drivers, but also shifting national priorities in the context of our finite natural resources.

The contributions of the scrap recycling industry to the U.S. economy include:

  • Generating nearly $17.5 billion in export sales to 160 countries;
  • Directly and indirectly employing approximately 470,000 workers in 2015;
  • Generating more than $105.8 billion annually in economic activity;
  • Drawing in more than $11 billion in revenue for federal, state, and local governments; and
  • Lowering energy costs by producing recycled materials that require less energy during the manufacturing process than virgin materials.

National Manufacturing Day, currently in its fifth year, occurs on the first Friday of October. It provides an opportunity for American manufacturers to showcase the potential the sector holds and promote interest in future manufacturing careers.



The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. (ISRI) is the Voice of the Recycling Industry. ISRI represents approximately 1,300 companies in 21 chapters in the U.S. and 34 countries worldwide that process, broker and consume scrap commodities, including metals, paper, plastics, glass, rubber, electronics, and textiles. With headquarters in Washington, DC, ISRI 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.

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