Scrap Recycling Industry

From the earliest uses of scrap thousands of years ago to the optical scanners, X-rays and air jets separating materials in today’s high-tech shredders, scrap recycling has evolved as a major industry.

As the original recyclers, for decades — and indeed, centuries — the scrap recycling industry in the United States has been purchasing, processing and brokering old materials to be remade into new products. The scrap industry is truly the first link in the supply chain, serving as the backbone for America’s manufacturing sector while simultaneously promoting a more sustainable society.

Today, the U.S. scrap recycling industry is a sophisticated, capital-intensive industry that directly employs approximately 138,000 people. As society increasingly focuses on the need to protect our natural resources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the scrap recycling industry is recognized as one of the world’s first green industries while serving as an economic leader, job creator, major exporter and environmental steward. See below for more information about how the scrap recycling industry generates sizable economic and environmental benefits.