Scrap metal recycling helps to snag old cell phones and laptops before they reach landfills — but what other benefits exist? This is important considering that “more than 4.4 million tons of used and end-of-life electronics are processed annually in the U.S. recycling industry,” according to, “Recycled Commodities Series: Electronics,” an informative video released by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) alongside the 2015 E-Scrap convention—which will be held in New Orleans for 2016.

 

The ISRI report helps to outline the growth of e-scrap recycling, how the U.S. recycling industry has expanded over the past decade, and who benefits.

Domestic Economic Growth is Good for All

The growth of any industry is a surefire way to add jobs to the U.S. economy, helping to improve overall livelihood for communities, families and individuals. Within this burgeoning field, the e-scrap industry has created more than 45,000 full-time jobs in the U.S., according to ISRI. Of all of the collected goods, 83% of items are recycled and reused domestically. All-over, the market growth has added more than $20.6 billion to the U.S. economy.

Energy and Environment: Scrap Metal Recycling Is Gold

Recycling scrap metal reduces the depletion of natural resources, and walls-up or decreases manufacturing waste. Scrap recycling also requires less energy, and offsets greenhouse gas emissions. For example, one metric ton of electronic scrap from computers contains more gold than that recovered from 17 tons of gold ore!

 

With the improvements of recycling technology and technology systems, parcels of recycled electronics are able to re-enter the market as individual resources such as a plastic, aluminum, silver, copper—and gold. With the establishment of more third-party certification systems, more used cell phones, laptops, home stereos and other electronics can go back into the market stream and into users’ hands.

 

General Kinematics hopes that designers and manufacturers continue to be inspired to create electronic products that are easy to recycle!

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  • Amy Donahue

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