• Press Release

New Study Reveals Strong Economic Impact of U.S. Scrap Recycling Industry

(New Orleans, LA) – The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) today released a new Economic Impact Study revealing that the industry accounts for nearly half a million jobs in the U.S. and generates more than $116 billion annually in economic activity. The study was performed by the independent consulting firm of John Dunham and Associates to explore the size and scope of the scrap industry in the U.S., and measure its significant contribution to the economy in terms of employment, tax generation, and overall economic benefit.

“The recycling industry has had its ups and downs over the last couple of years with the commodity markets, but this study shows its resiliency and a positive momentum for the future,” said Robin Wiener, president of ISRI. “There is still a lot of unpredictability in the markets, and uncertainty about the impact public policy decisions may have on trade. However, this study proves the recycling industry is an economic force and must have a strong voice in conversations related to international trade and fiscal policies in Washington.”

According to the report, the recycling industry is responsible for more than 534,500 direct and indirect jobs in the U.S. This includes more than 155,630 direct jobs that pay an average of $76,515 in wages and benefits. Direct jobs include those in facilities that process scrap materials into new, usable commodities. Indirect jobs come from those that supply machinery, equipment and services to processors, and the wages and taxes paid by the scrap recyclers to their workers and suppliers. In addition, the industry generates more than $13.2 billion in federal, state, and local tax revenue annually. The study also reveals the scrap recycling industry provides for 0.63 percent of the national’s total economic activity.

The report, along with state by state and Congressional district breakdowns can be found at www.isri.org/economy. Additional information, including export figures related to the industry will be released in the coming weeks.




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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