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  • Press Release

ISRI Position on Environmental Justice Highlights Inclusivity and Opportunities for Industry and Community Collaboration

(Washington, DC) – Recyclers are committed to being good neighbors in their communities by engaging, and operating environmentally responsible and safe recycling facilities. Recently passed by its Board of Directors, the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries’ (ISRI) new position on Environmental Justice and the Recycling Industry’s Commitment to its Communities reflects recyclers’ unwavering support of the communities in which they operate.

Excerpts from the position follow.

ISRI supports the broad objectives of Environmental Justice, including:

  • The equal treatment and opportunity for all people regardless of race, ethnic origin, heritage, language or economic status;
  • To contribute positively to the communities in which our members operate, including the opportunity to be heard;
  • To promote continued environmental stewardship; and
  • To further promote the health and safety of employees, customers and communities.

The U.S. recycling industry has its roots in multi-generational family businesses with long standing investments and engagement in the communities in which we are located. While the recycling industry today is composed of a mix of small, mid-size and large companies – with some family owned and others publicly-held corporations – recyclers across the country support the social well-being of their communities through long term economic investment and stewardship of the environment.

Recyclers’ presence in communities is positive and contributes to economic development, providing direct and indirect jobs, as well as a strengthened tax base for funding local schools and services. The recycling industry plays the primary role in transforming otherwise discarded materials into recyclable raw materials. These recycled raw materials are then manufactured into new products, driving economic and environmental sustainability and reducing waste and CO2 emissions.

A core value of the recycling industry is workplace health and safety. The recycling industry is committed to proactive actions that prevent risks to workers by implementing protocols designed to maintain a workplace free from hazards, operating at the highest standards and employing the best business practices such as providing on-going training for all employees, monitoring our work environment, and regularly scheduled equipment maintenance. These actions ensure a safe and healthy work environment, and endeavor to help protect all those that live, work and play in recyclers’ communities.

The recycling industry strives to engage with our communities to achieve mutual understanding and shared goals for the success of all members of the community. It is the recycling industry’s desire that all voices are heard, injustice is avoided, and shared objectives are achieved in ways that are economically and operationally beneficial for all.

The position was passed by the ISRI Board of Directors on May 14, during the association’s Spring 2021 Board and Committee Meetings.

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The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. (ISRI) is the "Voice of the Recycling Industry™." ISRI represents 1,300 companies in 19 chapters in the U.S. and more than 40 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 $116 billion annually in U.S. economic activity, the scrap recycling industry provides more than 506,000 Americans with good jobs.

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