The scrap recycling industry always knew it made sizable contributions to the national and international economies, the U.S. balance of trade, and environmental conservation, but it couldn’t quantify those contributions in a way it could communicate easily and effectively to policymakers, the public, and other audiences.
That changed in 2011 when ISRI released its first economic study of the U.S. scrap recycling industry from John Dunham & Associates (New York). Among its highlights, the study noted that the industry generated $90.6 billion in total economic activity annually, created 137,640 jobs, and contributed $10.3 billion in tax revenue for local, state, and federal governments. “The study highlights the significant economic benefits of the private-sector scrap recycling industry in the United States and illustrates the major role our industry continues to play in the country’s economic recovery and future growth,” ISRI said at the time. Since then, ISRI has commissioned several similar studies that continue to drive home the scrap recycling industry’s essential role in national and global commerce as well as its “green” contributions.