How many shredders are out there? It is important to know, but not easy to measure. It’s a full time job to keep an accurate census of mills engaged in scrap metal shredding. Three publications that cover the industry each publish bi-annual lists. They are a snapshot in time and each has a certain method to their data collection. Count them how you like, it is the best public info available.
Source USA USA, Canada Mexico Year
Scrap Magazine 312 356 2014
Recycling Today 297 325 2014
American Metal Market 287 2014
Average USA count: 299 340
The publications compile the lists differently. Some count idled capacity, some are missed, and some have been removed. Scrap Magazine for 2014 lists 312 mills in the USA, 28 in Canada and 16 in Mexico. Recycling Today lists 297 shredders in the USA and 325 for all of North America, a drop of 14% from 2 years ago.