The U.S. is urgently seeking sustainability and it is apparent in the growth of “green” business, according to industry research firm IBISWorld. But while most of these industries are bucking the recession, recycling is expected to decline significantly in 2009 – after five years of strong growth.
“Falling prices have put the recycling industry on the scrapheap this year,” explained George Van Horn, senior analyst with IBISWorld. “It is the thirteenth biggest revenue loser in 2009, and is expected to plummet a drastic 20 percent.”
Growing at an annualized rate of 6.3 percent for the past five years to 2008, Recycling Facilities is one of the few industries in the “green sector” to observe a decline. Metal price declines combined with lower demand for recycled material are major factors impacting sales. A fall in revenue and profits may hasten consolidation between the larger industry players, such as Waste Management and Covanta. Smaller operators, more labor intensive, and without integrated waste collection and disposal activities, may be forced to exit the industry all together.