(Washington, DC) - Every November 15, people across the United States come together to celebrate America Recycles Day and focus on the strength of the U.S. recycling industry. The countless benefits of which include the industry’s $117 billion economic impact, more than 506,000 jobs created, key role in a sustainable future, and so much more. The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), the Voice of the Recycling Industry™, is using this year’s America Recycles Day as an opportunity to spotlight the essential role of recycling in the U.S. economy, sustainability, the environment, infrastructure, innovation, manufacturing, and beyond. As part of its celebration of America Recycles Day, ISRI hosted the Annual State of Recycling briefing.
Excerpts from ISRI President Robin Wiener’s speech as part of the briefing are as follows:
… America Recycles Day is a time to acknowledge all the people in the recycling industry that are giving new life to old items. Recyclers are helping to create a more resilient planet in an increasingly resource constrained world, while also keeping materials out of landfills.
This year, more than ever, it is clear why recycling is an essential part of the solution to so many of the challenges we are facing. Issues like bottlenecks in the supply chain, stress on the environment from raw material extraction and even surging demand for sustainably sourced and made goods have increased exponentially over the past two years, creating challenges but also opportunities for recycling. These issues are compounded as we endeavor to meet manufacturers’ increasing demand for high quality materials.
During the worst of the pandemic, the recycling industry helped keep manufacturing lines open to produce the critical goods required for the COVID-19 response and recovery. Similarly, increasing the supply of clean recyclable materials, as well as optimizing the design of products for both recycling and the use of recycled content, will help strengthen our domestic manufacturing supply chain.
… We are grateful for the work of the U.S. Congress in passing the bipartisan infrastructure package that the President is signing today and that contains a number of provisions that will help strengthen recycling. …
The new law also includes the RECYCLE Act, which ISRI played an important role in developing in collaboration with our champions in Congress. The RECYLE Act provides $75 million in funds for public education and awareness to reduce contamination in the residential recycling stream and thereby increase the volume of higher quality commodity-grade recyclables for processing into new manufactured products. …
… ISRI is fully engaged with policymakers, industry partners, stakeholders and – especially – in our local communities to partner on initiatives that will grow economic and environmental benefits for all of us. Recycling brings sustainable solutions to manufacturing resiliency, the fight against climate change and economic empowerment, but we cannot do it without all of you. ISRI looks forward to working with you to achieve these goals for a greener future.
The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. (ISRI) is the "Voice of the Recycling Industry™." ISRI represents 1,300 companies 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.