ECONOMIC INFORMATION STUDY
June 2000 Study Highlights
Economic Information Study represents the most comprehensive examination
to date of the economic activity generated by the region's recycling
and re-use industry. This industry is both a model for resource conservation
and efficient materials utilization, and, as documented in this Study,
a key contributor to the region's economy. The study region was the
ten states of the Northeast Recycling Council (NERC): Connecticut, Delaware,
Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania,
Rhode Island, and Vermont.
Key Study Findings
The key findings of the Study for the NERC region are as follows:
- 13,000 recycling and reuse establishments,
- 206,000 employed in recycling and re-use industries,
- $6.8 billion in annual payroll, and
- $44 billion in annual revenues.
This Study Highlights report is a summary of the primary
findings of the complete Recycling
Economic Information Study
(PDF format, 1.6MB).
detailed information on various aspects of the project,
reference the following chapters of the complete Study:
Indirect and Induced
The Study demonstrated
that the region's recycling and re-use industries are highly diverse
in the recovered materials utilized, the technologies employed, and
the size of the establishments.
Sector was divided into 19 distinct categories by type of establishment.
These operations collect and process recovered materials and manufacture
products using recycled materials. They include long-established sectors
like paper and steel making, but also new entrepreneurial ventures such
as composting, and plastic and rubber product manufacturing. There are
over 8,000 recycling related establishments in the region. As Table
1 illustrates, the majority of establishments are involved in the early
stages of the recycling loop, i.e., collection and processing. The manufacturers
that use these recovered materials to produce finished products are
fewer in number, but larger in size.
3,417 total establishments
- 2,255 Privately Run Residential Collection
- 1,162 Government Run Residential Collection
2,494 total establishments
Recyclable Materials Wholesalers
Materials Recovery Facilities
1,844 total establishments
Plastic Converters Facilities
Iron and Steel Foundries
Paper/Paperboard/Deinked Pulp Producers
Nonferrous Secondary Smelting Mills
Nonferrous Product Producers
Paper-based Product Manufacturers
Rubber Product Manufacturers
Pavement Mix Producers
Glass Product Producers
Glass Container Manufacturers
Other Recycling Establishment
Reuse & Remanufacturing Sector was divided into nine categories.
These diverse establishments refurbish used, old or broken equipment.
In the Study, it is conservatively estimated that there are over 5,000
re-use and remanufacturing establishments in the region (Due to resource
constraints for the study, this figure does not include large sectors
such as industrial equipment manufacturing). As Table 2 shows, these
categories include operations that sell a wide range of used merchandise,
as well as burgeoning categories such as establishments remanufacturing
and marketing used computers and electronic appliances.
& REMANUFACTURING ESTABLISHMENTS
Used Motor Vehicle Parts
Computer & Electronic Appliances
Materials Exchange Services
The Region's Big Four
the recycling and re-use industry is highly diversified, four types
of establishments dominate in-terms of their contribution to the region's
Recyclable Material Wholesalers
These are operations such as paper stock dealers, scrap metal processors, and other establishments that sort, remove contaminants, and densify recovered materials. Recycling activities at recyclable material wholesalers:
- Employ more than 26,000 people,
- Generate annual payrolls of $760 million, and
- Result in $8.3 billion in annual revenue.
Paper, Paperboard, & Deinked Market Pulp Mills
These manufacturers produce paper and paperboard products from recovered paper or market pulp and/or deinked recovered paper and sell pulp. These mills use a wide range of waste paper to produce a variety of finished paper grades. Recycling activities at paper, paperboard and deinked market pulp mills:
- Employ more than 24,000 people,
- Generate annual payrolls of $1.08 billion, and
- Result in $6.9 billion in annual revenues.
These companies convert a recycled plastic clean flake or pellet into an intermediate or end product. Compared to the other members of the big four, these facilities are a much newer addition to the region's recycling industry. Recycling activities at plastic converters:
- Employ more than 31,000 people,
- Generate annual payrolls of $880 million, and
- Result in $6.3 billion in annual revenue.
These companies produce iron and steel slabs, billets, bar, plate, and sheet from scrap and/or raw materials. By all measures used in this Study, among recycling and reuse establishments steel mills are the most significant contributor to the region's economy. Recycling activities at steel mills:
- Employ more than 31,000 people,
- Generate annual payrolls of $1.5 billion, and
- Result in $10.4 billion in annual revenues.
- Cumulatively, the big four account for approximately
- 55 percent of all employees,
- 63 percent of total payroll, and
- 72 percent of total receipts
- of the recycling and re-use industries as a whole.
- The average payroll of $37,700 per employee for these four categories is 14 percent higher than the average of $33,000 for all categories.
- At 37, the average number of employees per establishment for the big four is also higher than the average number of employees for all categories of 16.
Manufacturers Compared to Manufacturing Base
The most commonly
used measure of an industry's size is the number of individuals employed
in that sector. Using conservative methods to estimate the amount of
manufacturing employment directly attributable to recycling, it is estimated
that 1,870 recycled product manufacturers employ 136,000 people, or
approximately 4% of the overall manufacturing employment in the Northeast
Economic Information Study demonstrates the significant contributions
the recycling and re-use industry makes to the region's economy. The
Study findings will be used by NERC and its member states as a baseline
to track developments and changes in the industry in the future, and
to effectively target economic and market development resources and
programs to specific sectors of this expanding industry. The Study is
the first phase of a national study being undertaken by the National
Recycling Coalition (NRC) to measure the economic activity associated
with the recycling and reuse industries throughout the country.
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