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Range of stakeholders offer up industry analysis

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A recent Greenpeace report noted companies are increasingly calling a wider variety of products “recyclable.” | Marko Rupena/Shutterstock

Several recycling industry reports were recently released, including a Greenpeace indictment of recyclability labeling, the latest updates from Closed Loop Partners, and one state’s investigation of food waste in public schools.

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Report: Value of curbside materials drops 66% in two years

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Curbside recycling carts in front of residential properties.

The Recycling Partnership’s “2020 State of Curbside” report delves into updated data on recycling in the U.S. | stephen rudolph/Shutterstock

To quickly grasp the struggles facing American curbside recycling programs, one can follow the money – or lack thereof. In July 2017, a ton of recyclables was worth over $90. In October 2019, it was worth $30. That’s according to new research from The Recycling Partnership.

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Data Corner: The recycling revenue slide for nation’s largest processor

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The impact of the seismic shift in recycling markets over the past two-and-a-half years can be clearly seen in the quarterly recycling revenue numbers of Waste Management, which operates roughly 100 materials recovery facilities in North America.

The publicly traded company has seen its quarterly recycling-related revenue decline 35% (from $375 million to $245 million) since the third quarter of 2017. In July of 2017, China announced its intention to ban many categories of recyclables, and the policy was implemented at the start of 2018.

Values for many key curbside materials have dropped significantly since then.

Information for this month’s Data Corner came from Waste Management’s publicly available earnings reports.

This article originally appeared in the November 2019 issue of Resource Recycling. Subscribe today for access to all print content.

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