New study reveals strong economic impact of US scrap recycling industry

The recycling industry accounts for nearly half a million jobs in the U.S. and generates more than $116 billion annually in economic activity, as per a new Economic Impact Study report released by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI). 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 US, and measure its significant contribution to the economy in terms of employment, tax generation, and overall economic benefit.

“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,” said ISRI President Robin Wiener.

According to the report, 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.

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