The pricing slump continues for curbside fibers, but a number of plastics have increased in value.
The national average of all curbside paper grades dropped again over the past month. Sorted residential papers (PS 56) are now trading at a national average of $6 per ton as of early May.
The national average of mixed paper (PS 54) is now at an all-time average low of $1 per ton, down from $75 per ton in August 2017.
Corrugated containers (PS 11) is trading at an average $87-per-ton range nationally. In July 2017, OCC was trading in the $180-per-ton range.
High-grade papers remain strong, with sorted white ledger (PS 40) now trading up 10 percent over the past six months, from $230 per ton in January to the current $252 per ton.
Post-consumer natural high-density polyethylene (HDPE) from curbside collection programs continues its upward trend. The current national average price is 37.50 cents per pound, up 5.6 percent since March 31. This new level is 42 percent higher than one year ago, when it was trading at 26.41 cents per pound early June 2017. It also equals the national average price of 37.50 cents per pound on June 10, 2016.
By contrast, the national average price of color HDPE has dropped to 15.94 cents per pound, down 12 percent from two weeks ago, when it had reached a high of 18.19 cents per pound late April. Two months ago, this grade traded at 15.50 cents per pound.
HDPE rigid materials are up 14 percent over the past two months. The national average reached 10.06 cents per pound early May, compared to earlier levels of 8.81 cents per pound. This represents a return to May 2017 levels, when HDPE rigid traded at 10.44 cents per pound.
The national average price of post-consumer PET beverage bottles and jars continues to edge up, now currently at 15.89 cents per pound. This is an increase of 15 percent over the past four months, when it traded nationally at 13.77 cents per pound in January 2018. This is a return to the national average of 15.70 cents per pound, eight months earlier in September 2017.
Meanwhile, the national average price of post-consumer Grade A film moved up 4 percent since early March, from 11.31 cents per pound to the current 11.72 cents per pound. Grade B film is trading at 3.74 cents per pound, while Grade C film is trading up slightly, from 1.38 to 1.44 cents per pound, a 4 percent increase.
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.