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ISRI Convention: signs of hope for a troubled industry

Canada – Unsurprisingly, continued market pessimism dominated the US Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries’ 2015 Convention & Expo, held in the Canadian city of Vancouver in late April. But on a positive note, there was clearly growing faith in better times ahead – at least for some. It was also apparent that a strong US dollar had been boosting business for Europe’€™s machinery and technology suppliers.

Economists speaking at the ISRI event did their best to cheer up the masses by proclaiming that what comes down must go up again at some point. However, US recyclers and traders still find themselves confronted with the day-to-day realities of weak scrap demand and low prices, both at home and abroad.

And to make matters worse, the industry has suffered dramatic consequences as a result of the congestion at US West Coast ports which has cost the sector multi-million dollar sums. Although the US economy as a whole may be showing signs of recovery, this has not yet brought much benefit to the recycling industry.

‘Recycling has become a survival of the fittest,’ lamented the owner of a mid-sized metal scrap company. ‘More and more companies are facing difficulty and are going bankrupt.’

ISRI’s 2015 gathering may not have set records in terms of visitor and exhibitor numbers, but a large proportion of those who made the trip to Vancouver arrived with a clear mission in mind. Or as one Expo exhibitor described it, this year’s show represented ‘quality rather than quantity’.

Full coverage of the ISRI 2015 Convention & Expo will appear in the May issue of Recycling International.

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