Recycling Indus try Yearbook
Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc.
The U.S. electronics recycling industry has shown tremendous
growth over the past decade. This maturing segment of the
scrap recycling industry provides a boost of approximately
$20.6 billion, including exports of $1.45 billion, to the U.S.
economy (up from less than $1 billion in 2002) and employs
more than 45,000 full time employees (up from 6,000 in
A study published by the U.S. International Trade Commission
in 2013 found that the U.S. electronics recycling industry
processed more than 4.4 million tons of used and end-of-life
electronics equipment annually, not including white goods.
Of the used electronic products collected, the study found that
83 percent are reused and recycled domestically — including
scrap steel, aluminum, copper, lead, circuit boards, plastics, and
glass. ISRI estimates that the volume of electronics recycled in
the United States now exceeds 5 million tons per year.
Sophisticated technology has helped electronics recyclers
become highly efficient at recycling material into valuable,
specification-grade commodities which re-enter the
manufacturing stream as the basis for new products. For
example - one metric ton of electronic scrap from personal
computers contains more gold than that recovered from 17
tons of gold ore.
Electronics recyclers repair,
refurbish, and resell
equipment as used
products into domestic
and international markets.
Companies also provide
a number of logistical services, like collection, storage, and
transportation as well as scrubbing hard drives of sensitive
personal and commercial data.
The industry is driven by equipment collected from businesses
and commercial interests, comprising 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.