ISRI looks back at 2012
By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling
The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries has released its Scrap Yearbook for the year 2012, which provides a comprehensive overview of the recycling industry in the U.S. The yearbook includes information about the economic and environmental benefits associated with scrap recycling, as well as commodity-specific overviews of how scrap is generated, processed, traded and used. Also included is a section on electronics recycling.
The yearbook, citing numbers from a recent International Data Corporation study, states that the U.S. electronics recycling industry generates annual revenues of approximately $5 billion (up from $1 billion in 2002) and employs more than 30,000 full-time workers. The industry processed 3 to 4 million tons of used and end-of-life electronic equipment last year, according to the yearbook. More than 70 percent of collected equipment is manufactured into specification-grade commodities including scrap steel, aluminum, copper, lead, circuit boards, plastics and glass. The commodities are then sold to basic material manufacturers in the U.S. and abroad.
According to the report, the industry is driven by collection from businesses and commercial interests, making up to 75 percent of the market on a volume basis.
"The electronics recycling industry is poised to meet the anticipated increased demand for more used products and specification-grade commodities, with companies currently operating at about 50 percent of their operational capabilities," the yearbook reads.
The yearbook also states that the electronics recycling industry is seeing an increase in the use of third-party certification, citing the R2 certification, but completely leaving out any mention of e-Stewards certification.
In addition to electronics, the report also covers plastics, ferrous and non-ferrous scrap. It is available for download here.