Recycling Industry Benchmarking and Performance Measurement

Recycling Benchmark studyCompanies that collect, process, or market recyclables or manufacture recycled products often consider themselves to be part of what insiders call the "recycling industry." But, the recycling industry as a separate entity can be overlooked by outsiders. Rarely do you find national or state labor statistics, for instance, reporting numbers specifically for recycling companies.

The U.S. Recycling Economic Information Study set out to provide that information. This research provides additional information about recycling company financial and operational performance that is intended to encourage investment in the recycling industry, particularly manufacturers of recycled products, and provide individual recycling companies with important performance indicators.

The study, funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA), was completed by a Minnesota-based business management service company, AMPros Corporation, for U.S. EPA and the state's recycling market development program. The final project report includes various measures of performance: profitability, asset utilization, productivity, and financial.


  • Overall, the recycling industry demonstrated good growth potential and is healthy.
  • Forty-five percent of participating companies demonstrated superior performance.
  • Conclusions and tips and strategies for improvement are included in the executive summary and throughout the report.
  • Benchmarks are calculated for a number of business statistics, such as cash flow sufficiency, revenue growth, revenue per employee, net profitability, accounts receivable and accounts payable days, net sales to working capital, and many more.