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Recycling Industry Reduces the Trade Deficit

The recycling industry has been playing a major role in reducing America’s trade deficit. In America, a considerable number of export containers are shipped to various countries. These containers are filled with scrap metal, paper, and plastics.
Scrap commodities are among the nation’s largest exports by value. Overall, exports account for 27% of the recycling industry’s economic value. In 2014, the industry exported nearly $21 billion in commodity grade scrap products to more than 160 countries, significantly boosting the U.S. balance of trade.

Just how big is international trade to the American economy? In 2014 nearly $2.344 trillion in
goods and services were exported from the United States, and about $2.849 trillion were imported.* The US International Trade Association projects that U.S. exports supported an estimated 11.7 million jobs in 2014, up from 11.4 million in 2013.


Many feel that exports hurt our economy, because exporting commodities and materials to be processed outside of America provides jobs and opportunities in foreign countries, rather than home in the United States. To suggest that the export of commodities in the recycling industry would somehow destroy jobs in the United States is no different than stating that the export of corn, or coal, or cotton somehow takes away American jobs. The export of these commodities actually drives all economies involved, as it takes end-of-life products deemed waste and molds them into a new, usable product.

At Miller Recycling, we’re experts, as well as participants, in the U.S. recycling industry. We’re here to provide the answers for all your business’s recycling needs. Contact us with any questions you may have.