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Recycling Indus try Yearbook

Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc.


Nonferrous metals, such as aluminum, copper, lead, nickel, tin,

and zinc, do not degrade or lose their chemical properties in

the recycling process. As a result, nonferrous metals have the

capacity to be recycled an infinite number of times.

Making up

less than 10

percent of the

total quantity of

recycled material

in the United

States last year,

ISRI estimates

that nonferrous

metal scrap — including highly valued precious metal scrap —

accounted for more than half of the total value of U.S. scrap

recycling industry earnings in 2016. More than 8 million metric

tons of nonferrous scrap valued at approximately $30 billion

was processed in the United States last year from a wide array

of consumer, commercial, and industrial sources: everything

from copper and precious metal circuitry in electronic devices,

to soft-drink containers, automobile

batteries and radiators, aluminum

siding, airplane parts, and more.

Nonferrous scrap is then consumed

by secondary smelters, refiners,

ingot makers, foundries and other

industrial consumers in the United

States and more than 70 countries

worldwide. These consumers

rely on nonferrous scrap as a

competitive, environmentally-friendly and energy-efficient

input to make brand new products, continuing the nonferrous

metal life cycle. The Bureau of International Recycling (BIR)

estimates that almost 40 percent of the world’s demand for

copper is met using recycled material, while more than 80

percent of the zinc available for recycling is eventually recycled.

Nonferrous Metal