Resource Recycling News

UBC price falls sharply, but most other grades show consistency

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The price of post-consumer aluminum cans took a tumble over the past month, although the value of most other key curbside materials held steady.

The national average price for sorted, baled aluminum cans dropped 28% this month, from 114.00 cents per pound last month to 88.75 cents per pound this month. This material was trading at an average 70.00 cents per pound this time last year.

The national average for PET beverage bottles and jars also dropped noticeably, by 5.2%. That important plastic grade is now at an average 37.50 cents per pound, compared with 39.56 cents per pound this time last month. Some regions are still trading as high as 46.00 cents per pound. PET was trading at 21.47 cents one year ago.

Prices for most other plastic and fiber grades have held relatively steady since May. 

Natural high-density polyethylene (HDPE) from curbside collection programs is up 2.5%, now at an average 56.19 cents per pound. This compares to 54.81 cents last month. The price was 100.25 cents this time last year. 

The national average price of color HDPE remains steady, now trading at 29.28 cents per pound, compared to 29.56 cents last month. This grade averaged 51.88 cents one year ago.

Polypropylene (PP) is also holding steady, trading at 34.13 cents per pound, compared to 34.56 cents last month. PP was 35.38 cents one year ago.

The national average price of Grade A film is steady, now at 22.94 cents per pound, compared to 22.50 last month and 18.06 cents one year ago. Grade B film is 8.19 cents, compared to 8.13 cents last month and 7.13 cents one year ago. Grade C film is still averaging 1.13 cents per pound.

In fibers, corrugated containers (PS 11) are still trading at an average $129 per ton. OCC was trading for about $131 per ton this time last year.

Sorted residential papers (PS 56) are up 5%, from $100 to the current $105 per ton. This compares to $75 per ton one year ago. 

Sorted office papers (PS 37) are still trading for about $220 per ton, compared to an average $126 one year ago.

Lastly for paper, mixed paper (PS 54) remains steady at $70 per ton this month. It was $55 this time last year.

Finally, steel cans dropped 6% this month, from $236 per ton to an average $222 per ton. The price was $249 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 or 330-956-8911.



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