As countries close their borders to contain COVID-19’s spread, the US scrap industry has adopted its own safety measures.
State agencies with facilities for curbside recycling have suspended operations, including in Washington and California. In a press release, the Humboldt Waste Management Authority in California said it was closing down its recycling facility in Eureka to slow down or prevent COVID-19 transmission. The agency also suspended buyback activities, citing social distancing while handling scrap, like aluminum, plastic, and glass.
Davis Index has learned that some Ohio Valley scrap yards have suspended their retail operations to protect employees from the virus.
In western US, large bulk ferrous scrap sellers remain open, but plan to shutter operations to the public if need be. These bulk sellers told Davis Index their internal operations will continue to keep their crews employed and ship pending bulk material.
However, while some smaller ferrous scrap traders remain operational, they’re monitoring COVID-19’s effects on their businesses and may permanently layoff workers if the pandemic has long-term consequences on their bottom lines.
In a bid to help metal recyclers and scrap yards, the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries has also issued guidelines and a comprehensive catalog of resources the industry can use to ensure smooth operations during this global crisis.