Study shows economic impact of US scrap recycling industry

Study shows economic impact of US scrap recycling industry

ISRI has released its newest Economic Impact Study.


According to a new “Economic Impact Study” released by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), Washington, the US recycling industry accounts for nearly half a million jobs and generates more than $116 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 contribution to the economy in terms of employment, tax generation and overall economic benefit.

“The recycling industry has had its ups and downs over the last couple of years with the commodity markets, but this study shows its resiliency and a positive momentum for the future,” says Robin Wiener, president of ISRI. “There is still a lot of unpredictability in the markets and uncertainty about the impact public policy decisions may have on trade. However, this study proves the recycling industry is an economic force and must have a strong voice in conversations related to international trade and fiscal policies in Washington.”

According to the study, the recycling industry is responsible for more than 534,500 direct and indirect jobs in the U.S. This includes more than 155,630 direct jobs that pay an average of $76,515 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. In addition, the industry generates more than $13.2 billion in federal, state, and local tax revenue annually. The study also reveals the scrap recycling industry provides for 0.63 percent of the national’s total economic activity.

The study’s results, along with state-by-state and Congressional district breakdowns, can be found at Additional information, including export figures related to the industry, will be released in the coming weeks.