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US recycling industry in 2010 expands by 40pct

Recyclingportal.eu, the portal for waste disposal, recycling, recycling economy and markets, announced that in 2010 the US scrap recycling industry rebounded more than 40% to over USD 77 billion in sales from USD 54 billion in 2009, on the basis of information released by the US based Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries.

Despite the global recession which caused a sharp contraction in the US scrap recycling industry in 2009, the domestic scrap recycling industry added 10,000 jobs to the US economy since the beginning of 2010 and now employing approximately 130,000 men and women.

In 2010 commodity grade scrap products were exported from the US to more than 155 countries worldwide, generating nearly USD 30 billion in export sales and significantly helping the US balance of trade. The United States exported nearly 44 million tonnes of processed scrap materials, consisting of iron and steel, aluminium, nickel and stainless steel, copper, paper, plastics, lead, zinc, rubber and electronics.

In the US, 74 million tonnes of ferrous scrap were processed by the scrap recycling industry last year. The US scrap industry then recycled nearly 55 million tonnes of ferrous metal. The steel produced out of that material predominantly by electric arc furnaces accounted by approximately 60% of the total raw steel production nationwide.

In addition, in 2010 the United States exported ferrous scrap to about 90 countries worldwide, including China, South Korea, Turkey, Taiwan, Canada and India. The 19 million tonnes of iron and steel scrap exports was valued at more than USD 8 billion. The top exports included 39% of shredded steel scrap (7,438,729 tonnes), nearly 30% of No 1 heavy melting steel (5,646,271 tonnes), 5% of No 2 heavy melting steel (1,024,206 tonnes) and an amount of approximately f5% of stainless steel (937,158 tonnes) and 4.8% of alloyed non stainless steel (916,105 tonnes). Meanwhile in 2010, the US scrap industry recycled (domestically) and exported 2 million tonnes of nickel/stainless steel.

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