“Given the rising world population and increased urbanization, the Earth’s limited natural resources, and the heightened awareness of the benefits of recycling and need for sustainable development, the globalized scrap market is an increasingly crucial component of the health of the world’s economy,” said ISRI Chief Economist Joe Pickard. “Over the past year the global economy and scrap industry have confronted a number of challenges including slowing growth in China, lower world commodity prices, a strong dollar, transportation bottlenecks, and high regulatory costs. As history has shown, the scrap market serves as a leading economic indicator and despite the persistent challenges facing our industry, scrap recyclers remain resilient.”
Statistical highlights from the Yearbook include:
- More than 130 million tons of scrap metal, paper, plastics, electronics textiles, glass, and rubber processed in the U.S. and more than 800 million tons consumed globally;
- The U.S. exported more than 37 million metric tons of scrap commodities valued at $17.5 billion to more than 150 countries;
- The value of U.S. exports increased by nearly $7 billion from 2005 to 2015;
– Recovered paper and ferrous scrap represent the bulk of U.S. scrap exports by volume, combining for more than 31 million metric tons;
- Major export destinations for U.S. scrap last year included China ($6 billion), Canada ($2 billion), South Korea ($1 billion), Turkey ($930 billion), Mexico ($920 billion), and India ($900 billion);
- Since 2000, net exports of U.S. scrap have made a positive contribution to the balance of trade of more than $210 billion;
- Over 470,000 U.S. jobs directly and indirectly supported by the industry;
- Nearly $106 billion in U.S. economic activity generated; and
- Approximately $11.2 billion in federal, state, and local tax revenue collected in the U.S.
In addition, the Yearbook breaks down data by commodity and provides historical information on production, recovery and consumption; scrap trade flows; and scrap prices indexes.