The value of curbside recyclables dropped again in the first quarter of 2022, according to a newly released bale study. But pricing remained higher than what was seen during the same period last year.
The Northeast Recycling Council (NERC) reported that the average value of a blended ton of recyclables in the first quarter of 2022 was $138.62, down 15% from the fourth quarter of 2021 but up 57% from the first quarter of 2021.
That price is the blended value for a ton of recyclables, including the negative value of residuals, which MRFs dispose of.
The average price in the first quarter of 2022 not counting those residuals was $147.12, down 14% from the fourth quarter of 2021 but up 48% year over year.
MRF costs to sort and sell recovered commodities rose slightly, with an average processing cost of $89 per ton in the first quarter of 2022. That’s an increase of 3% from the last quarter and an increase of 2% year over year.
This quarterly survey is the 12th NERC has conducted and includes data from 12 Northeastern MRFs, of which 75% are single-stream and 25% are dual-stream or source-separated facilities.
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