Recovered material prices are down nearly across-the-board this month, with MRFs reporting a particularly steep drop in HDPE values.
Natural high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pricing from curbside collection programs dropped 27% month-over-month and is now at a national average of 76.31 cents per pound. This compares with 104.25 cents last month. Several regions are still reporting prices around 80.00 cents per pound.
Natural HDPE has been steadily climbing throughout 2021 until it reached a record high of 108.44 cents in September. The price was 63.00 cents one year ago.
Fiber bale prices are almost all down this month, although they’re still far higher than their year-ago prices.
The national average price for corrugated containers (PS 11) decreased 5% this month, now trading at an average $160 per ton, compared with $169 last month. OCC was trading for about $59 per ton one year ago.
Sorted residential papers (PS 56) are down 9% month-over-month, now averaging $106 per ton, compared with $116 last month and $40 per ton one year ago.
Mixed paper (PS 54) is also down, from an average $95 last month to the current $90 per ton. That compares with $28 this time last year.
Sorted office papers (PS 37) are still trading for about $165 per ton.
MRF metals are seeing some mixed results this month.
The national average price for sorted, baled aluminum cans dropped this month and is now at 77.88 cents per pound, compared with 81.13 cents last month. This material was trading at an average 45.69 cents per pound this time last year.
But steel cans are up 8% this month, at an average $270 per ton, compared with $250 per ton last month. This compares to a low of $80 per ton one year ago.
Plastics are almost all down this month but remain way up year over year.
The national average price of post-consumer PET beverage bottles and jars dropped by 15% this month. The price now averages 19.34 cents per pound, compared with 22.78 cents per pound this time last month. Some regions are still trading as high as 25.00 cents per pound. One year ago, PET was trading at 6.25 cents per pound.
Following natural HDPE, the national average price of color HDPE is also down, now trading at 39.81 cents per pound, compared with 54.19 cents last month. This grade averaged 16.75 cents one year ago.
The national average price of post-consumer polypropylene (PP) is now at 23.25 cents per pound, compared with 32.69 cents last month. PP was 5.63 cents one year ago.
The national average price of Grade A film remains steady, now at 20.75 cents, compared to 20.63 cents per pound last month and 8.88 cents one year ago.
Grade B film is now 7.38 cents, compared to 7.56 last month.
Grade C film is still averaging 0.88 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.