- Second-quarter revenue in the waste and recycling industry rose 10.3% to $21.76 billion, The National Waste and Recycling Association (NWRA) reported as it released the findings of its Industry Business Conditions analysis. The first-quarter drop of 11.7% was attributed largely to winter weather and depressed global commodities prices. In the first half of 2015, industry revenue was $41.5 billion, down 5.3% from the same period in 2014.
- 58% of respondents feel economic conditions will improve in the next three to six months, and 30% expect to increase employment, while two-thirds expect jobs to remain steady. The report includes data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Quarterly Services Survey (September). NWRA, which represents 800 companies in the private-sector waste and recycling industry, conducted the survey among its members.
- "The industry data for the quarter shows solid economic conditions for the industry," Bret Biggers, director of standards and statistics for NWRA, said in a press release. "While the industry continues to be subject to increased costs and the extreme fluctuations in global commodity markets, we are seeing strength in the sector in terms of increasing revenues and only 4% of survey respondents expecting to reduce employment as we head into the winter months."
The fall of commodity prices is not a new problem. David Steiner, CEO and president of Waste Management, warned in November 2013 that "Recycling is not profitable." However, many companies have increased operations despite uncertainty, which is a decision that has shown reward.
There are bright spots to the recycling market. The global electronic waste market size is projected to reach $5.04 billion by 2020 at an estimated compound annual growth rate of 20.6%, from $1.66 million in 2014. And the recycling of post-consumer plastic film grew 11%, or by 116 million pounds, in 2013 to reach an estimated 1.14 billion pounds, according to a report.
Respondents' optimism and expectations of job stability point to renewed strength.