WPI professor calls trade wars a wake-up call for the recycling industry

18 Feb 2019

Currency fluctuations, international political uncertainties and now tariffs that are hitting recycling businesses and consumers hard. A WPI engineering professor said the tariffs could turn out to be good for the recycling industry, if they are seen as a wake-up call.

Brajendra Mishra is the Kenneth G. Merriam Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He said the U.S. recycling industry essentially collects glass, paper, metals and electronic scrap (e-scrap), does some sorting but then ships it all overseas to countries with lower labor costs to finish the sorting and convert the materials back into something that can be used in a new product. He said that’s a missed opportunity for the U.S.