A note on scrap in the 1992 U.S. input-output tables

Open-File Report 2000-313




Introduction A key concern of industrial ecology and life cycle analysis is the disposal and recycling of scrap. One might conclude that the U.S. input-output tables are appropriate tools for analyzing scrap flows. Duchin, for instance, has suggested using input-output analysis for industrial ecology, indicating that input-output economics can trace the stocks and flows of energy and other materials from extraction through production and consumption to recycling or disposal. Lave and others use input-output tables to design life cycle assessment models for studying product design, materials use, and recycling strategies, even with the knowledge that these tables suffer from a lack of comprehensive and detailed data that may never be resolved. Although input-output tables can offer general guidance about the interdependence of economic and environmental processes, data reporting by industry and the economic concepts underlying these tables pose problems for rigorous material flow examinations. This is especially true for analyzing the output of scrap and scrap flows in the United States and estimating the amount of scrap that can be recycled. To show how data reporting has affected the values of scrap in recent input-output tables, this paper focuses on metal scrap generated in manufacturing. The paper also briefly discusses scrap that is not included in the input-output tables and some economic concepts that limit the analysis of scrap flows.

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USGS Numbered Series
A note on scrap in the 1992 U.S. input-output tables
Series title:
Open-File Report
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Version 1.0
Year Published:
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey,
ii, 19 p. ;28 cm.