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The past month has been marked by value boosts for recovered PET, HDPE and PP. Fiber grades recovered in curbside programs, however, have been flat or slightly down.

The national average price of post-consumer PET beverage bottles and jars keeps moving up, currently at 8.63 cents per pound, compared with 7.58 cents per pound this time last month. The price of recycled PET containers has increased nearly 30% over the course of 2021.

Meanwhile, the national average price of post-consumer natural HDPE from curbside collection programs has hit another record high: 70.25 cents per pound. This compares with 66.84 cents last month. Some regions are reporting prices reaching 75 cents per pound.

The national average price of color HDPE is also up again, now trading at 18.91 cents per pound, up from 17.19 cents last month. Some regions have reported highs over 23 cents per pound.

The national average price of post-consumer polypropylene saw a major jump over the last month. The grade is now trading at 18.44 cents per pound, compared with 11.69 cents in January. Last July, recycled PP was at a low of 3.69 cents per pound.

The national average price of Grade A film is now at 11.13 cents, compared with 10.84 cents per pound last month. Grade B film is now 4.38 cents, up from 3.63 cents per pound last month. Grade C film remains at 0.81 cents per pound.

Moving to fibers, The national average price for corrugated containers (PS 11) remained constant month-over-month. It’s currently trading at $76 per ton. The OCC grade was at roughly $32 per ton one year ago.

Sorted residential papers (PS 56) are down marginally over the last month, falling about $1 to $43 per ton.

Mixed paper (PS 54) also dropped slightly, from an average of $33 per ton in January to $32 per ton in February.  

High grade papers, meanwhile, are up an average $5 to $10 per ton again this month, with sorted office papers (PS 37) now trading around $93 per ton.

On the metals front, the national average price for sorted, baled aluminum cans (UBCs) is up marginally month-over-month, now at 53.31 cents per pound. This represents a 7% increase over this time last year, when aluminum cans were selling for an average of 49.69 cents per pound.

Recycled steel cans have remained constant over the last month at $80.31 per ton. However, a year ago, they sold for an average price of $102.81 per ton.

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.

Polyvel