ISRI: what it is and its specifications

United States of America
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The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries or ISRI, as it is commonly known, is a non-profit trade association originated in the United States, which represents more than 1,300 companies, from small family businesses to multinational corporations, operating in more than 40 countries around the world. It is a benchmark in the world of the recycling sector, so in this post, we tell you what it is and how to use its specifications.

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What is the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI)?

The ISRI is committed to safety and responsibility in different areas of the scrap recycling industry, such as the recycling of WEEE, metal theft or the safety and regulatory compliance of all its members.

In addition, it also advocates awareness of the value and importance of industrial recycling for the production of goods and services, along with the environmental benefits derived from scrap recycling.

On the other hand, it also disseminates information about the importance of scrap recycling, an industry that has become a key economic driver in the world, offering real solutions that help to protect and care for the environment. It publishes a bi-monthly magazine on industry news, features, trends, market statistics, environmental compliance, legislative activities, and much more.

The association’s members are manufacturers and processors, brokers and industrial consumers of scrap metals, including ferrous and non-ferrous metals, paper, electronics, rubber, plastics, glass and textiles. These members include suppliers of equipment and services to the scrap recycling industry. Manufacturers and sellers of equipment and services (shredders, balers, cranes, loaders, etc.) also promote the scrap recycling industry through their membership of ISRI.

ISRI Specifications

The ISRI specifications, designed by the Institute itself, were created to facilitate the trade and use of the full range of recycled materials, including recycled ferrous and non-ferrous metals, paper, plastics, electronics, glass, rubber and others. In this way, all companies in the recycling sector are provided with a common language for buyers and sellers of scrap materials worldwide.

These codes are continually reviewed to ensure that they meet the market demand for scrap metal trading.

The classification of the ISRI specifications is as follows:

Non-ferrous scrap

Non-ferrous scrap is all those metals that are more malleable and lighter, making it ideal for situations that demand strength without great weight: such as in canning or aircraft construction. They are generally used for their individual characteristics.

They can also be found outdoors, thanks to their high resistance to rust and corrosion, making them the perfect choice for water pipes, roofs and traffic signs. In addition, these metals are non-magnetic, so they are also used as small electronic components and cables.

Heavier parts of any size, length and weight are accepted by mutual agreement between buyer and seller. ISRI divides non-ferrous scrap into aluminium, lead, magnesium, mixed metals, nickel, red metals, zinc and others.


These are the most popular ISRI specifications for aluminum:

  • Taint/Tabor (clean mixed old alloy sheet aluminum)
  • Taldon (scrap from compacted aluminium used beverage cans)
  • Talk (aluminium copper radiators)
  • Tally (all automotive aluminium radiators)
  • Tense (mixed aluminium castings)

Red metals

In the ISRI specifications for red metalscopperbrass and bronze are included. The most commonly used are:

  • Barley (copper wire N.1)
  • Berry (copper wire N.1)
  • Birch (copper wire N.2)
  • Candy (N.1 heavy copper solids and tubes)
  • Cliff (copper solids and tubes N.2)
  • Honey (yellow brass scrap)
  • Ivory (yellow brass castings)

Ferrous scrap

Ferrous metal waste is waste from iron and steel and their alloys, also known as ferrous scrap. According to ISRI, all grades of ferrous scrap must be free of dirt, non-ferrous metals or foreign matter of any kind, as well as excessive rust and corrosion. However, it is not intended to exclude the inadvertent inclusion of insignificant quantities as long as it can be demonstrated that such a quantity is unavoidable for normal preparation and handling.

Electronic scrap

Electronic scrap or WEEE also has specifications according to ISRI. ISRI creates these trade guidelines in a way that provides quality standards for the entire recycling industry. These standards facilitate national and international commodity transactions.

The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industry also has specifications for these groups of waste: glasspaperplastics and tire

From ScrapAd, we hope we have helped you to understand a little more about the ISRI specifications and where they come from. If you are a company involved in the recycling industry, on our online platform you can buy and sell scrap in a quick and easy way. Register for free and start trading.

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