ISRI: US scrap exports create more than $28B in economic activity

Dive Brief:

  • The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) has released new information from a recent study that shows U.S. scrap exports create more than $28 billion in economic activity per year. 
  • According to ISRI's data, approximately 26.4% of the scrap material processed in the U.S. gets exported to other countries. This system accounts for more than 40,000 jobs related to domestic processing or scrap brokerage and nearly 94,000 indirect jobs related to supplier operations.
  • ISRI's study found that the average direct job in the scrap industry paid a salary of $75,934. Scrap exports also create more than $3 billion in estimated tax revenue.

Dive Insight:

This data came from a larger study conducted by John Dunham and Associates on behalf of ISRI that was released earlier in the month. According to that study, the overall scrap recycling industry is responsible for $116.97 billion in economic activity per year and helps create an estimated 534,000 jobs. 

As noted by ISRI in a press release, new data from that same study is now being focused on to coincide with World Trade Week. Their decision to highlight the scale of scrap exports is part of an ongoing message to support "free and fair trade" as the direction of some trade policies under the Trump administration are uncertain.

This message is part of a larger legislative agenda that includes environmental and labor priorities that may not all end up aligning with some of the priorities coming from Congress or the White House. At a time when China is imposing more restrictive import standards on certain scrap shipments, many in the industry are watching for any further disruptions to the system.

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Filed Under: Recycling
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