The U.S. scrap recycling industry generates more than $116.9 billion of economic activity annually, either directly or indirectly. It also is directly or indirectly responsible for 534,500 jobs paying $34.3 billion annually, according to a new economic impact study from the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries.
"The U.S. scrap recycling industry is not only a thriving economic engine, but also a pivotal player in environmental protection, resource conservation and sustainability," said the ISRI report released April 2 at the end of the institute's annual conference and exhibition in New Orleans.
John Dunham and Associates, an independent consulting firm, performed the study for ISRI, the association said.
The report explores the size and scope of the U.S. scrap recycling industry, covering plastics, metal and paper, and measures its contributions to the economy in terms of employment, tax generation and overall economic benefits.
The recycling industry directly employs more than 155,630 in the U.S., in jobs that pay an average of $76,515 annually, according to the study.
Those directly employed by the scrap recycling industry include those working in facilities that process scrap into new usable commodities, it said.
Indirect jobs include those in companies that provide machinery, equipment and services to scrap processors, the report said.
In addition to wages and economic activity, the scrap recycling industry generates more than $13.2 billion in federal, state and local tax revenue annually, according to the study. The industry provides 0.63 percent of U.S. total economic activity, it said.
The report can be found at www.isri.org.