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Recycling Indus try Yearbook

Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc.


Since the dawn of civilization and the earliest attempts at

manufacturing, humans have recognized the intrinsic value

of scrap and the benefits

associated with using and

re-using existing products to

create new goods.

In the early days of recycling,

scrap peddlers would typically

buy and trade relatively small

quantities of used household

items, used farm equipment,

and other goods.

As manufacturing ramped up

and became more complex in

response to society’s expanding needs, scrap recycling took on

even greater importance, adapting not only to market drivers,

but also shifting priorities in the context of our finite natural


In the second half of the 20th century, the scrap recycling

industry continued to grow, becoming more innovative,

competitive, and capital-intensive. In the last several

decades, the introduction of containerization and the surge

in commodities demand from China and other developing

economies helped to create an even more globalized scrap


History of Scrap Recycling