Market graph iconThe price of natural HDPE has skyrocketed over the past month, roughly doubling in some areas to a high of 52 cents per pound. Color HDPE also took a notable jump.

The national price of post-consumer natural high-density polyethylene (HDPE) from curbside collection programs is now 46.38 cents per pound, compared with 25.88 cents this time last month.

In some areas, natural HDPE is trading as high as 52.00 cents per pound. One year ago, the national average for this grade was 38.25 cents per pound. The last similar high was in September 2014, when it reached a national average of 52.69 cents per pound.

The national average price of color HDPE is also up over 30%, now trading at 13.06 cents per pound, compared with 9.94 cents per pound last month. One year ago, this grade was trading at 14.22 cents per pound (for comparison, five years ago, it reached the 30-cents-per-pound level).

Meanwhile, the national average price of post-consumer PET beverage bottles and jars dropped for the second month in a row, from 10.72 cents per pound this time last month to 9.80 cents per pound. This time last year, PET was trading at a national average 15.58 cents per pound.

Similarly, the national average price of polypropylene dropped from 12.38 cents per pound last month to 8.75 cents per pound this month. One year ago, this grade was trading at 10.31 cents per pound.

On the fiber side, sorted residential papers (PS 56) remains unchanged, trading at about$10 per ton. This common grade started its downward descent two years ago, dropping from $104 to $55 per ton between August and October 2017. 

The national average for corrugated containers (PS 11) remains steady this month, still about $27 per ton. 

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

The national average price for sorted, baled aluminum cans is lower again this month, now at 51.56 cents per pound, compared with 53.56 cents per pound one month ago and 67.31 cents per pound this time last year.  

Sorted, baled steel cans are trading at $95 per ton, compared with $120 per ton last month and $187 per ton one year ago.

Returning to plastics, the national average price of Grade A film is now trading at 8.63 cents per pound. By comparison, this grade traded at 9.06 cents per pound one year ago. 

Grade B film is still 4.63 cents per pound, and 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 Boulanger-Bosley at [email protected] or 330-956-8911.

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