Market graph iconOver the last month, all common grades of curbside fiber saw modest pricing gains. But plastic values were mostly flat, and PP dropped over 10%.

The national average price for corrugated containers (PS 11) is up another $10 per ton this month, now trading at an average $171 per ton. The OCC grade was trading for about $60 per ton one year ago.

Sorted residential paper (PS 56) is up another 7%, moving from a national average price of $109 per ton in August to $117 per ton in September. This grade traded for $38 per ton one year ago. 

Mixed paper (PS 54) is up $3 per ton month-over-month, to the current $96 per ton national average price.

Sorted office paper (PS 37) is up 6%, now trading at $164 per ton.

On the plastics side, a steady runup in pricing over the course of much of 2021 appears to be cooling.

The national average price of post-consumer PET beverage bottles and jars remained stable over the last month, now sitting at an average 25.56 cents per pound, compared to 25.31 cents per pound this time last month. Some regions are still trading as high as 30.00 cents per pound. One year ago PET was trading at 6.50 cents per pound.

The national average price of post-consumer natural high-density polyethylene (HDPE) from curbside collection programs also stayed basically flat from August to September, currently trading at an average 108.44 cents per pound. Several regions are reporting prices around 110.00 cents per pound.  The average price for natural HDPE was roughly 55.00 cents per pound one year ago.

Meanwhile, the national average price of color HDPE is 58.13 cents per pound, up slightly from its 58.00 level in August. This is far above where the resin’s pricing sat a year ago, when it was averaging to 8.63 cents per pound nationally.

The national average price of polypropylene (PP) post-consumer materials dropped 13% month-over-month, to 33.16 cents per pound. It was 5.25 cents one year ago.

The national average price of Grade A film remained flat, now trading at 20.38 cents per pound. Grade B film is also steady at 7.56 cents. Grade C film is averaging 0.88 cents per pound.

Turning to metals, the national average price for sorted, baled aluminum cans moved up again, now at 77.50 cents per pound, compared with 74.75 cents last month. This material was trading at an average 45.75 cents per pound this time last year. Strong demand has helped drive pricing for the nonferrous metal. 

Sorted, baled steel cans remained constant from August to September, at an average $250 per ton. This compares to a low of $78 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. 

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.


Save the Date - Resource Recycling Conference 2022 - Aug. 15-17, 2022 - Austin, Texas