• Press Release

National Manufacturing Day Puts Key Role of Recycling in U.S. Economy on Display

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 of the recycling industry to the U.S. manufacturing landscape. In 2016 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 call attention to the critical role recyclers play in America’s overall economy, and the variety of ways recycling affects one’s everyday life,” said Robin Wiener, president of ISRI. “The recycling industry is proud to be the first link in the manufacturing supply chain, as it 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 thriving economic engine, job creator, resource of 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 $16.5 billion in export sales to 155 countries;
  • Directly and indirectly employing approximately 534,000 workers in 2016;
  • Generating nearly $117 billion annually in economic activity;
  • Drawing in $13.2 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 sixth 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 more than 1,100 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 nearly $117 billion annually in U.S. economic activity, the scrap recycling industry provides nearly half a million Americans with good jobs.

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