The blended average price of recovered material dropped again in the fourth quarter of 2022, according to a recent market report.
The Northeast Recycling Council’s (NERC) Recycling Market Report covered prices from Oct. 1 through Dec. 31 of 2022. MRFs reported that in the fourth quarter of 2022, the average value of a ton of material was $79.30 without residuals and $69.35 with the cost of residuals included.
That’s a price decrease of 28% and 31% from the previous quarter, respectively. The value per ton has been falling since the second quarter of 2022, when it was $180.73 per ton without residuals and $169.75 per ton with residuals.
In Q4 2021, the average value of a ton of material was $171.52 without residuals and $162.27 with the cost of residuals included. That’s a year-over-year decline of about 54% without residuals and 57% with residuals.
Of the 14 MRFs in 10 states that responded for the report, 71% were single-stream and 29% were dual-stream or source separated. The dual stream MRFs reported a higher percentage change from the previous quarter.
Dual-stream MRFs averaged $80.88 per ton without residuals and $74.51 with residuals, decreases of 38% and 39% from the prior quarter, respectively. Single stream MRFs reported an average of $76.64 per ton without residuals and $67.16 with residuals, decreases of 26% and 29% from the prior quarter, respectively.
The MRFs also reported that the average processing cost was $87 per ton in Q4 of 2022, a decrease of 6% from the previous period when it was $93 per ton.
“We have found that the average processing costs change significantly from quarter to quarter – sometimes up and sometimes down,” the report stated. “We do not have an opinion or explanation for this.”
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