August has brought hot pricing for OCC, mixed paper, PET and HDPE, all important materials extracted from the curbside stream.
Over the past month, OCC increased by 23%, mixed paper by 26%, PET by 7% and natural HDPE by 2%.
For fiber grades, prices were up across the board. The national average price for corrugated containers (PS 11) is up $30 per ton this month, now trading at an average of $161 per ton. That’s up from an average of $131 last month. By comparison, the OCC grade was trading for around $57 per ton one year ago.
Meanwhile, mixed paper (PS 54) is also up, from an average of $74 last month to about $93 per ton this month.
Sorted residential papers (PS 56) increased 18% this month and are now averaging $108.75 per ton, compared with $92.50 last month and $32 per ton one year ago.
Sorted office papers (PS 37) are up 10%, now trading for about $155 per ton.
For plastics, most of the news was music to MRFs’ ears. The national average price of PET beverage bottles and jars moved up 7% over last month and now averages 25.31 cents per pound, compared with 23.55 cents per pound this time last month. Some regions are trading as high as 30.00 cents per pound. California premium bales are still trading in the range of 35.00 to 38.00 cents per pound.
The national average for natural high-density polyethylene (HDPE) from curbside collection programs continues to reach new highs. It is now at an average of 108.19 cents per pound.
This compares with 106.34 cents last month. Several regions are reporting prices currently around 110.00 cents per pound. The price was 48.00 cents one year ago.
The national average price of color HDPE is also up again. The plastic is now trading at 58.00 cents per pound, up from 56.78 cents last month. This compares to 4.44 cents this time last year.
The national average price of polypropylene is now 38.28 cents per pound, down marginally from 39.22 cents last month. It was 4.69 cents per pound one year ago.
The national average price of Grade A film is up 7%, now at 20.13 cents per pound, compared with 18.81 cents per pound last month and 7.00 cents one year ago. Grade B film is now 7.56 cents, compared to 7.50 cents last month. Grade C film is averaging 1 cent per pound.
Lastly, metals markets also brought good news for MRFs. The national average price for sorted, baled aluminum cans moved up 5%. UBCs are now averaging 74.75 cents per pound, compared with 71.13 cents last month. This material was trading at an average of 39.88 cents per pound this time last year.
Sorted, baled steel cans remain constant, at an average of $250 per ton. This compares to a low of $79 per ton one year ago.
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.