Posts Tagged ‘recession’

The recession will not be recycled

Monday, December 8, 2008

Jodi Hilton for The New York Times

Uh oh, looks like trash ain’t worth what it used to be.  The Times reports today that recycled materials like plastic and cardboard, once sold as scap for  a profit, are piling up because no one wants to buy junk anymore.   It’s a development that sadly takes a big bite out of a cost/benefits argument for public recycling programs.  Cities don’t seem to be cutting back on collection just yet, but the figures are dramatic.

On the West Coast, for example, mixed paper is selling for $20 to $25 a ton, down from $105 in October, according to Official Board Markets, a newsletter that tracks paper prices. And recyclers say tin is worth about $5 a ton, down from $327 earlier this year. There is greater domestic demand for glass, so its price has not fallen as much.

Apparently China used to buy a lot of our junk but stopped doing so when the economy turned.  Perhaps the conversation can now turn to reducing the amount of junk Americans create in the first place.

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