Over the past few weeks there has been an uptick in less-than-positive stories about the recycling industry. ISRI’s communications staff has taken a proactive approach to responding to articles. As an example of our efforts, ISRI responded to a recent story in The New York Times, with the following letter to the editor (In accordance with Times’ policy, the letter is less than 175 words):
The March 16, 2019 story on U.S. recycling trends completely missed the mark – recycling isn’t in crisis, it is actually an ongoing American success story. Municipal and residential “curbside” recycling represents roughly 30 percent of the U.S. market, with 70 percent sourced from commercial and industrial businesses. Like most global commodity-related businesses, recycling does see fluctuations in supply and demand, and the impact can vary by sector. American recycling companies have nimbly reacted to changing market factors, working with stakeholders along the supply chain, including industrial consumers, municipalities, and policymakers on the state, federal, and international levels to develop and expand markets both at home and abroad. In fact, through our efforts, we saw a 7% growth in global market demand last year. Recycling lowers greenhouse gas emissions, saves energy, and helps preserve our environment – outcomes broadly supported by businesses and consumers alike. As the first link in the manufacturing supply chain, scrap recycling has been, and will continue to be, integral to the U.S. economy, global trade, and resource sustainability in the years to come.
At present, the Times has not published any letters to the editor on this particular story, but we continue to follow up.
As the Voice of the Recycling IndustryTM, ISRI takes its responsibility to stand up for the entire industry in the press seriously. We continue to engage with the media on a daily basis touting the many economic and environmental benefits our industry offers. We push back on the myths and falsehoods that have been circulated as a result of China’s restrictions on imports, and we educate reporters on the fact that scrap is a valuable commodity that is in demand.
In the coming weeks, you will see an ever more increased efforts. To help with our efforts, we encourage members that have positive stories about residential recycling programs in their community to contact us. The more examples we have, the better we can make our case. Examples could include:
- Communities that have added items to their residential programs;
- Residential programs that make have cut back in the wake of China, but have returned to normal operations; and
- Municipalities that have invested in new technology to improve their recycling programs.
Please send information to Mark Carpenter or Holly Arthur.