Over the past month, the market for grades of curbside paper has been fairly stable.
The current national average of old corrugated (PS 11) is down nearly 3 percent from last month, from a reported $108.75 in mid-November to the current average of $105.63 per ton. This still represents a dramatic 41 percent drop over the past six months. OCC was trading nationally at $180.00 per ton in July 2017.
Sorted residential papers (PS 56) is flat compared with November, still trading at a national average of $55.63 per ton. However, this represents a dramatic 47 percent drop since August 2017, when it was trading at an average of $104.38.
The current national average for baled aluminum cans dropped slightly over the past month from 67.88 cents per pound early November to the current 67.06 cents per pound. One year ago this grade was trading at 60.69 cents per pound. Meanwhile, the national average for baled steel cans is $151 per ton, up 37 percent from one year ago, when it traded in the $110-per-ton range.
The current national average price of post-consumer PET beverage bottles and jars continues to weaken, currently trading at 13.59 cents per pound. In early November, this grade was trading 4 percent higher, at 14.09 cents per pound. Comparatively, this common curbside grade was trading in July 2016 at 15.93 cents per pound.
The current national average for post-consumer natural high-density polyethylene (HDPE) from curbside collection programs remains steady over the past month at 30.13 cents per pound. Meanwhile, color HDPE dropped 5 percent over the past month, from 16.81 to 16.00 cents per pound.
Commingled grades (Nos. 3-7) are now trading under one cent per pound, currently at an all-time average low of 0.63 cents per pound.
Post-consumer film prices continue to drop. The national average for Grade A film is currently 11.31 cents per pound, down 5 percent from last month’s national median price of 11.94 cents per pound. During that same period, Grade B film has dropped 3 percent, from 4.19 cents per pound to a current low of 4.06 cents per pound. Grade C film remains unchanged at a low 1.38 cents per pound.
These prices are as reported on the Secondary Materials Pricing (SMP) Index. This pricing represents what is being paid for post-consumer recyclable materials in a sorted, baled format, picked up at most major recycling centers.