Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc.
t is without question that 2015 was a very challenging year for the recycling industry. The year started with
the West Coast ports slowdown, then commodity prices declined throughout the year, and the efficiency and
feasibility of recycling was questioned in major news outlets. Yet, as was stated in ISRI’s State of Recycling Address,
“recycling remains a vibrant activity and the first link in the global manufacturing supply chain.” This is due in large
part to ISRI and its members. Throughout a difficult year, ISRI rose to the occasion, providing the tools and resources
to help recyclers face these obstacles head on.
The year began with a labor disagreement that led to a slowdown at the ports on the West Coast. This caused a
months-long backup that severely threatened the industry. ISRI sprang into action to educate members of Congress
and the Administration, including the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, on the devastating impact this was having on
the recycling industry. Thanks in part to our efforts working with others, Congress and the Administration were able
to pressure both sides to resolve their differences. ISRI also turned this into an opportunity to inform the public—
through news outlets such as
CBS Evening News
The Wall Street Journal
—about the important role recycling plays
in the U.S. exports market.
One of the ways in which our industry has responded to the challenging market conditions is through improvements
to operational efficiency and quality, along with a renewed commitment to safety. 2015 marked the first full year of
the Circle of Safety Excellence™ in which 97 members showed leadership and commitment by sharing data and re-
viewing benchmarks for safety. As this program continues to move forward, the industry will be better able to improve
its safety record across the board. ISRI also established an Alliance agreement with OSHA to provide members and
others with information, guidance, training, and additional resources to protect the health and safety of workers with-
in the scrap recycling industry. The scope of the Alliance and its initial initiatives will be further built upon throughout
Serving as the Voice of the Recycling Industry
, ISRI responded to misleading claims in the media about the demise of
the industry by delivering the first-of-its-kind State of Recycling Address on Capitol Hill. The event, in which we part-
nered with Keep America Beautiful, was livestreamed, reaching tens of thousands of people. The address highlighted
the economic and environmental benefits recycling offers, its ties to the global economy, and the advancements the
industry has made toward the quality of the recycling stream.
ISRI also remained on the front lines in the fight against metals theft. In August, ISRI released a video,
Theft: Perspectives from Law Enforcement and Industry
, aimed at helping local law enforcement address the growing
epidemic. The video, which has been shared with law enforcement organizations across the country, was produced
with assistance of the National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP).
Also, our landmark ScrapTheftAlert.com system reached the milestone of 20,000 registered users in August. Through
ISRI’s advocacy efforts, law enforcement trainings, and public outreach, we continue to build relationships with key
stakeholders and show that the industry is part of the solution.
Letter from the Chair and the President