Study shows economic benefits of public recycling programs

A recent study by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), found that the recycling industry in the United States generates more than $10 billion in revenue each year and has given jobs to more than 450,000 people. These statistics are significant, as it sheds light on the growing need to expand public recycling programs as a means of improving the environment and helping to put people back to work, according to

The study was compiled by John Dunham and Associates, an economic research firm, which examined a wide range of factors. These included jobs and exports, recycling rates and the economic impacts of these programs on the national, state and congressional district levels. It is one of the few industries in the country that can say that it is actively making the world a better place while generating billions to aid the economic recovery.

"Despite tough times, our industry is directly and indirectly putting more than 450,000 people to work while generating revenue for federal, state and local governments," Robin Weiner, ISRI president, told the news source. "When people think of recycling, they think of the bin at the curb when in fact our industry is a multi-billion-dollar 'Made in America' manufacturing success story."

According to the study, the American recycling industry adds as much to the nation's economic growth as the entire coal mining industry. Additionally, the scrap metal recycling industry by itself has reached a size comparable to the nation's forestry and fishing industries combined. With these sorts of impressive numbers and a growing number of public education and recycling programs, the recycling business should continue to see remarkable growth over the next decade.