NOVEMBER 2008

Accelerated depreciation a go for recycling equipment

The financial plan passed by Congress to shore up the United States financial system includes provisions of the Recycling Investment Saves Energy (RISE) legislation that would provide a 50 percent accelerated depreciation allowance for purchases of recycling equipment.

The RISE provisions were part of several energy savings provisions added by the Senate to the financial rescue plan after the U.S. House of Representatives voted against the recovery plan. The House agreed to the Senate-revised plan that includes several energy and tax provisions, including RISE. The scrap recycling industry has been seeking this accelerated tax depreciation allowance since the 109th Congress.

“We are immensely gratified and pleased that the Congress has chosen to pass the RISE provisions as part of the legislation dealing with the current financial crisis,” stated Robin Wiener, president of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, the national trade association for the scrap recycling industry. “RISE will lead to improvements in recycling by providing low-cost incentives for purchases of recycling equipment that will ultimately help the United States reduce its energy use and greenhouse gas emissions while helping the United States economy and creating good manufacturing jobs.”

At a time when worldwide demand for recyclable materials continues to grow, Americans continue to generate huge quantities of recyclable materials. RISE will encourage the procurement of sorting, separation and processing technologies that will enable recyclers to better process mixed materials, such as paper and plastics, into commodities that can be used as valuable raw material feedstock in additional manufacturing applications. These new processing technologies will help expand America’s recycling capacity.

“Spurring these new equipment purchases with RISE would also help grow the United States economy and create jobs,” Wiener stated. “Scrap recyclers purchase heavy manufacturing equipment such as auto shredders, balers, cranes and shears among other equipment, creating manufacturing jobs. The capital costs of these new innovative technologies can range from hundreds of thousands of dollars to tens of millions of dollars per piece of equipment. As the scrap recycling industry continues to grow its processing infrastructure, it employs more and more working Americans throughout the country.”

RISE also includes a reference to electronic “scrap” rather than waste, setting an important precedent for future legislation. This “important distinction helps change the negative perceptions (and regulatory impediments) that hurt recycling efforts here in the United States,” said Wiener.