Who Benefits from Scrap Metal Recycling?

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!

7 Responses to “Who Benefits from Scrap Metal Recycling?”

  1. Tori Raddison

    I agree that recycling scrap metal reduces the depletion of natural resources, especially if a lot of people do it. I’ve heard that it produces significantly less CO2 when you recycle instead of excavating. I’ll have to make sure I scrap what I can when I’m getting rid of things.

  2. Ellie Davis

    I loved that you elaborated on the importance of recycling scrap metal to reduce the usage of natural resources. My husband is working on a remodeling project for his workshop, and we are looking for advice about what to do with all the scrap metal resulted from it. I will let him know about the benefits of scrap metal recycling to help him choose the most environmentally-friendly option.

  3. Taylor Hicken

    I appreciated it when you shared that you are able to help reduce the depletion of natural resources by recycling scrap metal. My father just mentioned the other day that he is thinking of decluttering the garage so he can make use of the space for something else. I will suggest to him recycling any scrap metals that he can find so he can help the environment.

  4. Braden Bills

    I’ve got some old scrap metal that I want to get rid of. It makes sense that I would want to get a professional to handle recycling it for me! That seems like a good way to ensure that the metal doesn’t end up going to waste.

  5. Adam Golightly

    My uncle works with a bunch of scrap metal, and there are a lot of extras that he needs to get rid of. He would really like to get some help from a professional to make sure that it can be recycled safely. I liked what you said about how he can help offset greenhouse gas emissions because it requires less energy.

  6. Adam Golightly

    My dad has been thinking about getting rid of all his scrap metal because he hasn’t been using it. He would really like to get it recycled by a professional to be environmentally friendly. I liked what you said about how it can offset greenhouse gas emissions because it requires less energy.

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