America Recycles Day Celebrates Recycling Industry's Innumerable Economic and Environmental Benefits
(Washington, DC) - The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), the Voice of the Recycling Industry, celebrates America Recycles Day November 15th, by applauding all individuals who make a strong effort to recycle as part of daily life, and encouraging all to learn more about recycling and the industry. America Recycles Day, a national initiative of Keep America Beautiful, takes place yearly on November 15 in an effort to promote and celebrate recycling in the U.S.
"Each year America Recycles Day offers us a reminder of the critical role recycling plays in the earth's sustainability, including its impact on the environment, energy savings, and the economy," said ISRI President Robin Wiener. "We encourage every person to use this day as a reminder of the importance of recycling and the need to make a concerted effort to properly recycle in their daily lives. Each individual can make a significant difference by knowing what can and cannot be recycled in their community, and encouraging local officials to make policies that promote better recycling a top priority."
Recycling is the first link in the manufacturing supply chain. Just last year, the U.S. recycling industry transformed more than 130 million metric tons of scrap metal, paper, plastic, glass, textiles, rubber, and electronics into specification grade commodities for use in new products.
While 70 percent of the recycled commodities processed last year in the United States was consumed at home, the global scrap market also provides a useful outlet for our nation's excess scrap supply. U.S. export sales of recycled scrap significantly benefit the U.S. trade balance. In 2016, the United States exported more than 37 million metric tons of scrap commodities, valued at $16.5 billion. In fact, since 2000, net exports of United States scrap have made a positive contribution to our balance of trade amounting to more than $210 billion.
Recycling facilities provide jobs all across the country. In fact, last year the U.S. scrap recycling industry directly and indirectly supplied more than 534,000 Americans with employment while generating nearly $117 billion in economic activity. The industry paid $13.2 billion in direct federal, state, and local taxes.
Recycling conserves our limited natural resources and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by significantly saving the amount of energy needed to manufacture the products that we buy, build, and use every day. The energy saved by recycling may then be used for other purposes, such as heating our homes and powering our automobiles.
Traditionally, waste management companies have operated using a simple "management of waste" approach to operating a MRF. Throughput targets and continuous operation (minimal downtime) were the main driving forces. The industry has changed however, and the focus moving forward is now on optimizing system performance and reliability, in conjunction with increasing recycling rates and a drive for a "greener" and more sustainable tomorrow.
When considering the addition of, or upgrade to, an "intelligent" MRF, for municipalities or private operators, the main factors should always be the client's (operator) current requirements, and evolving market needs, which include throughput, reliability, output quality, and adaptability. Equally important is a full understanding of what is really expected from any proposed system. Having an engaged and focused mindset for the project with the client from the beginning, will impact and drive the entire design process. This then impacts the overall project result, through to the productive, efficient, ongoing operation of the facility itself.