The next big thing in steel scrap is coming.
In the past, the metal scrap industry used to be a booming business.
That changed in the early 1990s, when the United States government started cracking down on scrap metal recycling and ended the use of scrap metal for building materials.
Today, the industry has struggled to make money.
It’s also not very well represented in the US government.
The industry was a significant contributor to the federal budget last year, according to the American Scrap Metal Association.
But now it’s on the brink of extinction.
“The steel industry has had a really hard time in the last 10 years,” said Mark Bowers, a professor of law and economics at Cornell University and an expert on the scrap metal industry.
Bowers said that the industry’s future is bleak.
The Federal Reserve said it expected scrap metal production to decline by about 4 percent this year, but experts have been skeptical of that figure.
The scrap metal trade group says the figure is closer to 4 percent.
“If we’re going to be able to recover the industry that’s been so badly hit by the downturn, we need to start paying attention to the industry right now,” Bowers said.
In the meantime, the scrap industry is facing a new threat.
It is also facing an entirely new kind of threat: the scrappiness of its own metal.
The United States Postal Service says that the scrap rate for scrap metal is currently the lowest it’s ever been.
That’s a huge surprise to the scrap recycling industry.
“We’re not used to seeing the post office take a very big chunk out of our business,” said John M. Sullivan, president of the American Iron and Steel Institute.
“We were a huge post office,” he said.
Sullivan and his fellow scrap recyclers don’t see a silver lining for the future.
If anything, Sullivan thinks scrap metal’s future depends on the federal government.
Sullivan has been fighting for decades to bring the post-deposit metal tax back to the United State.
The tax is designed to discourage the dumping of scrap.
But it’s also been challenged in court by many companies.
Sullivan said it’s unlikely that the post offices can bring the tax back.
And he’s not optimistic about the post system ever returning.
“I think the government has done too much, too fast,” he told ESPN Clic.
“They’ve taken away our ability to get our products to market, and now we’re back in the post, in a situation where we’re not going to have much of a return.”