Monday, December 08, 2008

Economy hits recycling biz hard

From the APs PJ Dickerscheid:

Just months after riding an incredible high, the recycling market has tanked almost in lockstep with the global economic meltdown. As consumer demand for autos, appliances and new homes dropped, so did the steel and pulp mills' demand for scrap, paper and other recyclables.

Cardboard that sold for about $135 a ton in September is now going for $35 a ton. Plastic bottles have fallen from 25 cents to 2 cents a pound. Aluminum cans dropped nearly half to about 40 cents a pound, and scrap metal tumbled from $525 a gross ton to about $100.

The Council appears poised to vote in favor of a new trash disposal contract tomorrow. And I firmly believe that creating a more sustainable society is an integral part of trash disposal. But this definitely raises a number of financial questions for me.

Over the long haul, recycling makes sense. But in the near term, there's probably some increased uncertainty about the scope of an enhanced recycling program.

Tim White

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Garbage-to-gold seems a bit passé these days. The F&S biodiesel plant should have taught all of us a lesson about speculative investment in modern day alchemy. Maybe shipping trash that decomposes to a land fill which in 20 years can be tapped as a source of methane is the best we can hope for long term.