OCC, mixed paper and polyolefin container prices have continued their upward climbs this month.
The national average price for corrugated containers (PS 11) is up another $4, now at $43 per ton. This compares with $129 per ton this time last year. The major waste and recyclables haulers, as well as paper mills, have reported seeing a consistent rise in the value of corrugated cardboard in recent months. The gradual increase comes after prices fell off a cliff during the latter half of 2022, when OCC fell from $131 per ton in July to $29 in December.
Mixed paper (PS 54) is also following OCC higher. Up $3 from last month, it is now trading for an average of $11 per ton. This price compares with $70 per ton this time last year, however.
Meanwhile, prices for curbside polyolefin containers have also increased notably this month.
The national average for natural high-density polyethylene (HDPE) from curbside collection programs is up 9%. It is now trading for an average of 74.59 cents per pound. This compares with 68.72 cents last month and 54.81 cents this time last year.
The national average price of color HDPE is also up by 12% this month, at 16.09 cents per pound, compared with 14.41 cents last month and 29.59 cents one year ago. Some regions are trading for about 19.00 cents per pound.
Finally, polypropylene (PP) is also up. This grade is now trading at 10.25 cents per pound, compared with 8.19 cents last month. PP was 34.63 cents one year ago.
By and large, as of mid-May, other curbside commodity prices are flat from a month earlier.
The national average price for sorted, baled aluminum cans remains firm, at 71.56 cents. This grade was 93.75 cents per pound this time last year.
Sorted, baled steel cans also remain firm, at a current average of $244 per ton. The price was $236 per ton one year ago.
The price of sorted residential papers (PS 56) is level, around $25 per ton. This compares with $100 per ton one year ago.
Sorted office papers (PS 37) are down again, from $193 to 178 per ton. This compares with an average of $220 one year ago.
PET beverage bottles and jars are now averaging 14.20 cents per pound, compared to 14.17 cents per pound this time last month. Some regions are still trading as high as 17.5 cents per pound. This grade was trading at 39.56 cents one year ago.
The national average price of Grade A film remains firm, at 17.44 cents per pound. That’s compared with 22.63 cents one year ago.
Grade B film is still 7.81 cents, compared with 8.13 cents one year ago.
Grade C film remains at a low 0.5 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.
For a free trial to SMP’s Online Post-Consumer Pricing Index, visit recyclingmarkets.net. You can also contact Christina Boulanger-Bosley at [email protected] or call 330-956-8911.