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Over the last month, some curbside plastics have seen notable market changes. Meanwhile, prices for paper bales have remained constant, albeit low.

Sorted residential papers (PS 56) pricing remains unchanged since mid-August, with the grade trading at around $10 per ton. This time last year it was trading around $31 per ton.

The national average for corrugated containers (PS 11) remained steady over the past month, still in the area of $27 per ton, compared with $70 average one year ago and $155 in September 2017.

Mixed paper (PS 54) continues to trade at a national average low of negative $2 per ton.

Sorted office paper (PS 37) dropped again this month, from an average $101 per ton to the current level of $96 per ton. This high grade was trading at $203 one year ago.

The national average price for sorted, baled aluminum cans is lower again this month, now at 53.56 cents per pound. It was 54.81 cents per pound one month ago and 72.44 cents per pound this time last year.

Sorted, baled steel cans are also trading lower, at $119 per ton, compared with $191 per ton one year ago.

Post-consumer PET beverage bottles and jars dropped again, from 13.63 cents per pound this time last month to the current average price of 10.72 cents per pound. This time last year recycled PET was trading at an average 16.19 cents per pound.

The price of post-consumer natural high-density polyethylene (HDPE) from curbside collection programs is up 18% this month. The national average price is now 25.88 cents per pound, compared with 21.94 cents this time last month. One year ago, this grade was at 38.25 cents per pound.

Meanwhile, the national average price of color HDPE dropped slightly over the past month, now trading at 9.94 cents per pound. Last month, the price was 10.00 cents per pound. One year ago, this grade was trading at 14.44 cents per pound.

The national average price of post-consumer polypropylene remains constant, still trading at 12.38 cents per pound. One year ago, this grade was trading at 10.38 cents per pound.

The national average price of film grades remains steady this month, with Grade A film still trading around 9.00 cents per pound. By comparison, this grade traded at 9.31 cents per pound one year ago.

Grade B film is still 4.63 cents per pound, while Grade C film is trading at a nominal 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.

For a free trial to SMP’s Online Post-Consumer Pricing Index, visit the Recycling Markets website. You can also contact Christina at [email protected] or call 330-956-8911.

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