Recycling Facts

  • Recycling is good for the national economy by increasing local employment.
  • Recycling one ton of steel saves 1,136 kg of iron ore.
  • Recycling helps recreate new products once the original item has reached the end of its useful life.
  • Recycling scrap metals can be benefit local projects such as roads and bridges.
  • Reusing scrap metal has supported many industries to reduce their environment impact.
Plastic Bottles

The Economy

The recycling industry is an essential component of the economic health of America, positively impacting almost every phase of our economy.

As a job creator, the recycling industry employs over 150,000 workers in the scrap metals industry alone. The broader recycling industry as a whole employs 700,000 workers, generates $36.6 billion in wages and $6.7 billion in tax revenue.

As an industrial category, in 2017 the recycling industry generated over $117 billion in economic activity and over $13.2 billion in tax revenue.

And while these jobs on their own represent significant employment opportunities for our Mississippi workforce, the recycling industry is also a key contributor to the supply chain of American manufacturing. For example, more than 60% of raw steel is generated by scrap sources. A third of copper supply for industry is sourced through copper alloy scrap. And over half of all aluminum consumption is provided through recycled content.

Moreover, as one of the leading exporters of materials - representing over $18 billion in exports in 2017 - the scrap industry represents  a key role in the trade balance between the US and our global trade partners.

Recycling also brings about a dramatic reduction in waste - and associated costs - that otherwise must be buried in landfills. A significant portion of this waste carries the potential to become toxic if mishandled, risking destructive pollution in the area where it’s buried.

From employment to tax generation to manufacturing, the recycling industry is a key cog in not only making our country economically stronger, but making our environment cleaner, safer, better.