U.S. Scrap Metal Recycling Market

U.S. Scrap Metal Recycling Market Analysis By Metal Type (Ferrous Scrap Metal Recycling & Non-Ferrous Scrap Metal Recycling) By Scrap (New & Old Scrap Metal Recycling) By Recycling Type (Shearing, Shredding & Bailing) By End-User & Region – US Market Insights 2022 to 2032

Analysis of U.S. Scrap Metal Recycling Market Covering 30+ Countries Including Analysis of US, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Nordics, GCC countries, Japan, Korea and many more

U.S. Scrap Metal Recycling Market Outlook (2022-2032)

The U.S. scrap metal recycling market is currently estimated at US$ 9.2 billion and is predicted to expand at a noteworthy CAGR of 5.4% over the forecast years of 2022-2032. As such, the market is poised to generate an absolute dollar opportunity worth US$ 6.4 billion and reach a valuation of US$ 15.6 billion by the end of 2032.

Report Attributes Details

U.S. Scrap Metal Recycling Market Size (2021A)

US$ 8.8 Billion

Estimated Market Value (2022E)

US$ 9.2 Billion

Forecasted Market Value (2032F)

US$ 15.6 Billion

U.S. Market Growth Rate (2022-2032)

5.4% CAGR

South-West U.S. Market Share (2021)


South-West U.S. Growth Rate (2022-2032)

~6.1% CAGR

Market Share of Top 5 Companies


Key Companies Profiled

  • American Pulverizer Company
  • Commercial Metal Company (CMC)
  • DBW Metals Recycling
  • Framingham Salvage Company
  • Gershow Recycling
  • Hindalco Novelis
  • Matalco Inc.
  • Nucor Corporation
  • Sims Metal Management Ltd.

The U.S. houses several metal recyclers; however, the top 20 companies stand out from the rest of the competition, which represents a mix of public and private ownerships. Only one among the top 20 metal recyclers in the United States is a foreign holding company.

Owing to their properties, metals can be recycled repeatedly and do not degrade. As this leads to a lower carbon footprint, recycled metals are being efficiently used across industry verticals. This is propelling scrap metal recycling market growth in the United States.

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U.S. Scrap Metal Recycling Demand Analysis (2017-2021) Vs. Market Growth Forecasts (2022-2032)

Scrap metal recycling is an energy-efficient method that involves the recovery of scrap metal and processing it from end-of-life structures or products and manufacturing scrap. The metal is then re-introduced as a raw material in the production of new goods.

Recycling of scrap metal reduces carbon footprint and aids in catering to the demand for valuable metals from leading end-use industries such as shipbuilding, building & construction, automotive, etc.

  • Short Term (2022 Q2 to 2025): Properties of metals making them appropriate for continuous recycling without degradation in quality to fuel short-term market growth.
  • Medium Term (2025-2028): Socio-economic and environmental benefits of scrap metal recycling likely to drive market growth in medium term.
  • Long Term (2028-2032): Production innovation and development trends in scrap metal recycling to fuel long-run market demand and growth.

The scrap metal recycling market in the United States registered a historic growth rate of 3.7% from 2017 to 2021. The market is projected to expand at 5.4% CAGR during the forecast years, according to the recent analysis done by Fact.MR, a market research and competitive intelligence provider.

U.S. scrap metal recycling market forecast by Fact.MR

Market share analysis of metal type and region is provided in a nutshell in the above image. Under the metal type segment, ferrous scrap metals held a higher market share of 63.4% in 2021.

What is Driving the Need for Scrap Metal Recycling in the U.S.?

“Creation of Circular Economy to Propel Metal Recycling Demand”

Growing metal demand is having impacts on the linear economy, such as the decline in ore grades, price hikes, and resource scarcity, along with environmental impacts such as land degradation, water & air pollution, biodiversity loss, etc. As such, there is an increasing need to shift towards an efficient circular economy model. Owing to the unique properties of metals, they can be recycled indefinitely.

Even at the end-of-life (EoL) stage, metal products can be re-processed through mechanical treatment and can be further re-introduced in the production process of making new metals. Thus, recycling of metals closes the production process loop, in turn, reducing waste that often ends up in landfills and also the amount of primary raw materials required.

Are There Any Hurdles Encountered in the Scrap Metal Recycling Business?

“Quality Issues with Recycled Metals Can Hamper Market Growth”

Ferrous and non-ferrous metals such as aluminium, steel, and other metals need to be manually separated from other types of recyclable materials such as paper and plastic. Some metals such as aluminium tend to degrade after each reuse cycle, impacting product quality.

However, most metals never reach a no-longer recyclable point. Scrap metal recycling products use almost 95% less energy than new production. Thus, quality issues of recycled scrap metals are likely to hamper market growth to some extent in the United States.

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Region-wise Insights

Why Does the South-West U.S. Dominate the Scrap Metal Recycling Market?

The South-West U.S. scrap metal recycling market dominates the United States scrap metal recycling market by holding 26.4% share. The South-West U.S. regional market is projected to expand at 6.1% CAGR through 2032.

The West U.S. comes next and accounts for 24.9% market share, and is projected to register 5.6% CAGR during the forecast years of 2022-2032.

Rise in construction activities along with the government spending on residential & infrastructural construction activities is driving the growth of the scrap metal recycling market in these regions. Along with this, rising acceptance of processes by manufacturers for procuring raw materials to manufacture finished goods without the effect on properties, coupled with the presence of laws and regulations enforced by the governments, is accelerating market growth.

In addition, surge in greenhouse gas emissions and rise in environmental concerns among the population are fueling the demand for scrap metal recycling in the U.S.

Category-wise Insights

Which Metal Type Should Scrap Metal Recyclers Target?

Under the metal type segment, the scrap metal recycling market is segmented into ferrous scrap metal recycling and non-ferrous scrap metal recycling.

Ferrous scrap metals hold 63.4% share and dominate the market. The segment is projected to rise at 5.5% CAGR during the forecast years. This is because the largest sources of scrap ferrous metals are found in durable products such as furniture, tires, appliances, etc., in the United States.

Scrap metals are a by product of steel manufacturing and come from end-of-life products. The use of scrap in steel production is now an integral part of the steel-making industry. Along with this, ferrous scrap is valuable and easy to recycle because it is not altered, and thus, does not require much processing, leading to enhanced segmental growth.

Non-ferrous scrap metal recycling holds 36.6% of the overall market share and is projected to expand at a CAGR of 5.1% during the forecast years. Non-ferrous scrap makes up for a small percentage of the scrap material recycled by volume.

The properties of not degrading or losing chemical and physical properties in the recycling process result in non-ferrous scrap metal being recycled an infinite number of times, which is likely to support segment demand over the coming years.

Why are the Automotive & Shipbuilding Sectors the Largest End Users of Recycled Scrap Metal in the United States?

The scrap metal recycling market, under end-user segment, is segmented into industries such as automotive, shipbuilding, construction, mining, energy & power, railway & transport, aerospace & defence, oil & gas, heavy equipment, and other industries.

Amongst them, the automotive and shipbuilding sectors dominate the market with 23.4% and 16.5% of the overall market share, respectively, and are projected to rise at 6.1% and 5.7% CAGRs during the forecast years.

The automotive sector sees extensive use of scrap metal across the U.S. With the use of recycled aluminium and steel scrap, manufacturers conserve their raw materials, miles of landfill space, and energy as well.

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Competitive Landscape

Prominent players in the scrap metal recycling market in the U.S. are embracing ground-breaking marketing tactics such as technological advancements, which have revolutionized the whole process.

For instance, the development of certain technologies such as XRF is positively impacting the market by rapidly analyzing the chemical composition at material transfer points and thereby guaranteeing product quality.

All these factors are making the market more competitive and dynamic.

Market Developments :

  • Hindalco Industries Limited acquired Aleris in 2020. This acquisition is likely to take forward the aluminium value-added products strategy of the company and provide entry into the high-end aerospace industry.
  • Nucor Corporation acquired TrueCore, LLC in 2019. The company manufactures insulated metal panels and is based in South Carolina. It serves the market for cold storage and also runs the plans for additional industrial and commercial applications.

Fact.MR has provided detailed information about the price points of key scrap metal recyclers positioned across the U.S., sales growth, production capacity, and speculative technological expansion, in the recently published report.

U.S. Scrap Metal Recycling Industry Survey by Category

  • By Metal Type :

    • Ferrous Scrap Metal Recycling
      • Stainless Steel
      • Carbon Steel
      • Mild Steel
      • Cast Iron
    • Non-Ferrous Scrap Metal Recycling
      • Aluminium
      • Copper
      • Lead
      • Nickel
      • Zinc
      • Brass
      • Tin
      • Gold
      • Others
  • By Scrap :

    • New Scrap Metal Recycling
    • Old Scrap Metal Recycling
  • By Recycling Type :

    • Shearing
    • Shredding
    • Bailing
  • By End User :

    • Automotive Industry
    • Shipbuilding Industry
    • Construction Industry
    • Mining Industry
    • Energy & Power Industry
    • Railway & Transportation
    • Aerospace & Defense
    • Oil & Gas Industry
    • Heavy Equipment Industry
    • Others
  • By Region :

    • West U.S.
    • South-West U.S.
    • Mid-West U.S.
    • North-East U.S.
    • South-East U.S.

- FAQs -

How big is the U.S. market for scrap metal recycling?

The U.S. scrap metal recycling market currently stands at US$ 9.2 billion and is anticipated to surpass US$ 15.6 billion by 2032-end.

At what rate did demand for scrap metal recycling increase over the past years?

Over the 2017-2021 period, scrap metal recycling in the U.S. increased at 3.7% CAGR.

Who are the prominent scrap metal recyclers in the U.S. market?

Key scrap metal recycling providers in the U.S. are American Pulverizer Company, Commercial Metal Company (CMC), DBW Metals Recycling, and Framingham Salvage Company.

Which region leads the scrap metal recycling market in the United States?

South-West U.S. leads the scrap metal recycling market in the country accounting for 26.4% market share.

Which metal type holds a high-value share in scrap metal recycling?

Ferrous metal recycling accounts for 63.4% share of the United States market.

U.S. Scrap Metal Recycling Market

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