New Study Shows Strong Economic Impact of the U.S. Scrap Recycling Industry

WASHINGTON, May 21, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) today released a new Economic Impact Study revealing that the industry accounts for nearly half a million jobs in the U.S. and generates more than $105 billion annually in economic activity. The study was performed by the independent consulting firm of John Dunham and Associates to explore the size and scope of the scrap industry in the U.S., and measure its significant contribution to the economy in terms of employment, tax generation, and overall economic benefit.

"Despite the challenging landscape of today's global marketplace, scrap recycling has proven to be a resilient, job creating, and economy driving industry," said Robin Wiener, president of ISRI. "As the first link in the manufacturing chain and as a major exporter, the scrap recycling industry is a leading indicator to the overall health of the U.S. economy. While the last several months have been difficult for commodities, this study suggests hope for a rebound."

According to the report, the recycling industry is responsible for 471,587 direct and indirect jobs in the U.S. This includes 149,010 direct jobs that pay an average of $77,153 in wages and benefits. Direct jobs include those in facilities that process scrap materials into new, usable commodities. Indirect jobs come from those that supply machinery, equipment and services to processors, and the wages and taxes paid by the scrap recyclers to their workers and suppliers.

Other highlights of the study include:

  • The industry generates about $4.4 billion in state and local revenues annually, and another $6.8 billion in federal taxes are paid each year by the industry and its employees;
  • The scrap recycling industry provides for 0.68 percent of the national's total economic activity, making it similar in size to the country's data processing and hosting, dental, and automotive repair industries;
  • Exports account for 26.8 percent of the industry's economic activity, creating roughly 125,276 jobs; and
  • Export activity generates $28.3 billion in economic benefits, including $1.3 billion in federal tax revenue and $1.7 billion in state and local taxes.

The full report, along with state by state and Congressional district breakdowns can be found at

The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. (ISRI)

ISRI is the Voice of the Recycling Industry™. ISRI represents more than 1,600 companies in 21 chapters nationwide that process, broker and industrially consume scrap commodities, including metals, paper, plastics, glass, rubber, electronics and textiles. With headquarters in Washington, DC, ISRI provides safety, education, advocacy, 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.

CONTACT: Mark Carpenter Director of Media Relations and Online Communications (202)662-8525 MarkCarpenter@isri.orgSource:Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries