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Recycling Indus try Yearbook

Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc.


What is scrap and where does it come from?

Unlike waste, scrap is processed into tradable and highly-

valued commodities that manufacturers use as raw material

inputs to make new products. There are two major sources

of scrap supply.

Obsolete scrap

comes from a wide range of

used products including

end-of-life cars and

trucks, old newspapers

and magazines, used

appliances, demolished

buildings, used beverage

containers, consumer

goods, and much more.

Scrap generated by the manufacturing process, known as

prompt, prime, or new scrap

, comes in a variety of forms

including metal clippings, stampings, and turnings. Because

new products are continually entering the marketplace, scrap

recyclers need to be extremely innovative in order to keep up

with commodity and end-use market developments. Scrap can

be grouped into categories including:

ferrous scrap

, which

includes items made from iron and steel like old automobiles

and machinery;

nonferrous scrap

made of other metals such

as aluminum, copper, lead, zinc, nickel, and tin;



including used TVs, computers, cell phones, and other

electronic equipment; and

nonmetallic scrap

such as

recovered paper and fiber, plastics, rubber and tires, glass, and


More than 800 million metric tons of scrap metal, recovered

paper and fiber, plastic scrap, used electronics, and other scrap

commodities are consumed globally each year. As the world’s

largest supplier of scrap, the United States annually processes

approximately 130

million metric tons

of scrap commodities

per year, providing

vital raw materials to

manufacturers and

helping to fuel global