Replacement Purchases of Durable Goods Will Support Volumes of Metal Recovered


Cleveland, OH, March 16, 2020 — Total post-consumer metal recovered from the municipal solid waste (MSW) stream in the US is forecast to rise nearly 1.0% annually in volume terms through 2023, according to Recovered Metals: United States, a report recently released by Freedonia Focus Reports. Increasing disposable incomes will encourage durable goods purchases, generating disposals as items are replaced. In addition to economic growth, disposals will increase as some durable goods procured during historical surges in spending will reach the end of their useful lives over the forecast period, necessitating replacement and contributing to the waste stream. Metal-containing products such as appliances and lead-acid batteries will continue to be recovered instead of discarded due to persistent landfill bans in many areas. Furthermore, consumers will continue to receive incentives for recycling these and similar items, such as payments for turning in old appliances or spent batteries.

These and other key insights are featured in Recovered Metals: United States. This report forecasts to 2023 US recovery of post-consumer metal from the municipal solid waste (MSW) stream in short tons. For comparison, this report also forecasts to 2023 the total generation of post-consumer metal in short tons. Total MSW metal recovery and generation are segmented by material in terms of:

  • ferrous
  • lead
  • aluminum
  • other nonferrous (generation only)

To illustrate historical trends, total metal recovery, generation, and the various segments are provided in annual series from 2008 to 2018.

Pre-consumer metal (industrial scrap) and lead from non-battery sources and non-vehicle batteries are excluded from the scope of this report. The following materials are excluded from this analysis because MSW volumes are considered negligible (less than 0.05% of the total volume) or a method for accurately quantifying these volumes has not been established: recovery of aluminum from nondurable and durable goods, and recovery of other nonferrous metals (such as copper, titanium, zinc, and brass). Throughout this report, measures in tons refer to short tons.

More information about the report is available at: