This month has brought relative calm to markets, with post-consumer recyclables bale prices largely flat except for a few modest changes.
The national average price for corrugated containers (PS 11) is down another $2 per ton this month, now trading at an average $129 per ton. OCC was trading for about $93 per ton this time last year.
The national average price of post-consumer PET beverage bottles and jars leveled off this month, now at an average 39.56 cents per pound, compared to 39.22 cents per pound this time last month. Some regions are trading as high as 50 cents per pound. PET was trading at 15.69 cents one year ago.
The national average price of post-consumer natural high-density polyethylene (HDPE) from curbside collection programs is up 2%, now at an average 54.81 cents per pound. This compares with 53.72 cents last month. The price was 89.31 cents this time last year.
The national average price of color HDPE is also up 2%. This grade is now trading at 29.56 cents per pound, compared with 28.94 cents last month. Color HDPE averaged 38.44 cents one year ago.
Notable price increases are being seen across three film grades, however.
The national average price of Grade A film is up 6%, now at 22.50 cents per pound, compared with 21.13 last month and 17.63 cents one year ago. And Grade B film is now 8.13 cents, compared with 6.56 one year ago. Prices for both are the highest they’ve been in recent memory.
Grade C film is now averaging 1.13 cents per pound. That’s the highest price paid for this lower-grade film bale since mid-2020.
Generally speaking, other curbside metal, paper and plastic prices are flat this month.
The national average price for sorted, baled aluminum cans remains steady, at 114 cents per pound. This material was trading at an average 64.13 cents per pound this time last year.
Sorted, baled steel cans have also remained consistent. They are selling for an average $236 per ton. The price was $233 per ton one year ago.
Sorted residential papers (PS 56) remain unchanged, at $100 per ton. This compares with $55 per ton one year ago.
And the same goes for mixed paper (PS 54), which is still selling for $70 per ton, compared with $34 this time last year, and for sorted office papers (PS 37), which are still trading for about $220 per ton, compared with an average $116 one year ago.
Lastly, polypropylene (PP) is still trading at 34.56 cents per pound, the same as last month. PP was 33.31 cents 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.