Recycling Has Gone Global

Posted on November 16, 2011 · Posted in PK Metals Blog

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As anyone that reads the news can tell you, the world is becoming “flatter” every day. New technology has allowed for communication to take place in an instant across the global. Entire economies and regions can be built in less than a decade. Just last week, there have been reports that there are currently 7 billion people on Earth.

Overseas markets, with their population explosion, have kicked off a massive construction effort. The question that scrap metal recycling executives ask themselves every day is: What are we doing to do with all of these materials? The industry has taken a lead in technological advances, and this has led to the United States being a major player in the global recycling industry.

Fortunately for the United States, we have positioned ourselves to be a leaded exporter of scrap metal to these regions. The demand for recycled materials overseas has been a catalyst for job creation in the scrap metal recycling sector in the United States.

The scrap metal recycling industry can be seen as a bright spot in the current economic climate. These manufacturing jobs are exactly the type of careers we need. Everyday thousands of workers across the country ensure that our environment, and our position the global economy, are improving.

A recent report by the Institute of Scrap Metal Recycling Industries demonstrates the positive impact this trend is having on the economy in the United States.

  • In fact, in 2010 alone, more than 130 million metric tons of scrap metal, paper, plastic, glass, textiles, rubber and electronics, valued at more than $77 billion, were manufactured into specification grade commodities by the scrap recycling industry in the United States.
  • These commodities were sold as valuable feedstock material to industrial consumers in the United States and in more than 155 countries around the world and contributed nearly $30 billion in export sales, significantly helping the U.S. trade balance.
  • The U.S.-based scrap recycling industry is a sophisticated, capital-intensive industry that employs approximately 130,000 workers in the United States. As the first link in the manufacturing supply chain, scrap recycling has been integral to the U.S. economy, global trade, and resource sustainability for more than 200 years.

As the world continues to expand, it is imperative that the United States continue to lead in the scrap metal recycling industry. The manufacturing jobs that this industry creates is a vital part of the economic landscape in this country. The emergence of China and other overseas economies continue to grow can benefit the United States as well. The scrap metal recycling industry demonstrates that we have the knowledge and capability to create jobs and exports for the United States.