The price of recovered natural HDPE has climbed again, in some areas breaking recent records. The price of OCC dropped further, however.
The current national average price of post-consumer natural high-density polyethylene (HDPE) from curbside collection programs is 51.75 cents per pound, compared with 46.38 cents this time last month. In some areas, it is trading as high as 57.00 cents per pound, a decade high. The last similar high was in September 2014, when it reached a national average of 52.69 cents per pound.
The rise comes after the price skyrocketed between September and October, more than doubling in some places.
For comparison, one year ago, the national average for natural HDPE was 38.81 cents per pound.
Sorted residential papers (PS 56) remain unchanged, trading at about $10 per ton. This common grade traded nationally around $30 per ton one year ago.
The national average for corrugated containers (PS 11) dropped $2 per ton this month, now trading at around $25 per ton. OCC was trading at about $70 one year ago.
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 marginally lower this month, now at 51.06 cents per pound, compared to 51.56 cents per pound one month ago. This compares with 66.25 cents per pound this time last year.
Steel cans are also trading lower, now at a national average of $90 per ton, compared with an average $95 per ton last month and $190 per ton one year ago.
The national average price of post-consumer PET beverage bottles and jars dropped marginally again, from 9.80 cents per pound this time last month to the current average trading price of 9.45 cents per pound. This time last year, PET was trading much higher, at an average 15.17 cents per pound.
The national average price of color HDPE is also up 11%, now trading at 14.56 cents per pound, compared with 13.06 cents per pound last month. One year ago, this grade was trading at 15.78 cents per pound. Five years ago, it reached the 30-cents-per-pound level.
The national average price of polypropylene materials dropped again this month, from 8.75 cents per pound to the current 7.06 cents per pound. One year ago, this grade was trading at 10.31 cents per pound.
The national average price of Grade A film is up slightly over last month, now trading at 8.75 cents per pound. By comparison, this grade traded at 8.75 cents per pound one year ago. Grades B and C film remain unchanged.
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.