NEW YORK The
U.S. recycling industry generates more than $87 billion in
economic activity annually and provides nearly 463,000 jobs,
according to a new study commissioned by the Institute of Scrap
An economic impact
study covering all forms of recycling, including metals,
electronics, plastics, paper, rubber, glass and textiles,
showed that the industry generates $87.4 billion in economic
activity annually while employing 137,970 people directly along
with 131,917 supplier jobs and 193,053 induced jobs.
The study, conducted
by Brooklyn, N.Y.-based John Dunham & Associates Inc.,
estimated that the industry provides revenue of nearly $4
billion in state and local taxes and $6.3 billion in federal
taxes paid by companies and their employees.
A better part of a
summary report released by Dunham & Associates focused on
highlighting the industrys impact through its exports, an
issue that continues to attract a lot of consumer,
environmental and political attention.
Associates said scrap commodities figure among the
countrys largest exports by value and account for 39
percent of the recycling industrys economic activity.
U.S. scrap exports to
about 160 countries netted $27.8 billion in sales in 2012, it
said, generating $33.9 billion in total economic benefits,
including $1.9 billion in federal tax revenue and $1.6 billion
in state and local taxes.
concerns about exports, Dunham said that international trade is
an integral part of the U.S. economy, with nearly $2.2 trillion
in total goods and services exported from the United States in
"To suggest that the
export of recycled commodities would somehow destroy jobs in
the United States is no different than stating that the export
of corn, or of coal or of cotton, somehow takes away American
jobs," it said.
ISRI president Robin
Wiener said the economic impact study shows the scrap recycling
industry serves as an economic driver for the United States, a
job creator, and major exporter. "At a time when the national
job market is fragile, the recycling industry is creating
high-quality, good-paying opportunities for Americans. This in
turn feeds money back into the economy through spending and
revenue generated from taxes," she said.