Need to Know

The Battle of Commodities Prices and Recycling Continues

Recycling companies in both Vermont and Colorado are continuing to battle with low commodities prices. Waste Management and Windham Solid Waste Management District, for example, are coughing up the cash to keep facilities running.

Many companies in the recycling industry are dealing with the issue of virgin materials versus recycled materials, and this issue doesn’t seem to be resolving itself. While commodities prices continue to fluctuate, they are nowhere near where the waste and recycling industry needs them to be.

These companies are also dealing with the expensive issue of contamination, which is caused by nation-wide residents who are often confused about what can and cannot be recycled.

KUSA has more information on how Waste Management is tackling the issue:

Recycling companies are facing a big challenge -- while helping sustainability efforts, they’re losing money.

9NEWS went behind the scenes at the Waste Management recycling plant in Denver to see how the process of turning discarded items into something new is costing more money than it has in years past.

For most consumers, throwing a bottle or can in the recycle bin is the end of the line for a potentially reusable item. But turning an aluminum can into a new soda container is costing more than it has in years. That might have you wondering what happens after your recycle bins are hauled away

Read the full story here.

Meanwhile, Vermont Public Radio highlights a number of Vt.-based companies and their challenges:

A recent downturn in commodity prices has some waste district managers scrambling to make ends meet just as they are getting ready to meet new demands of the state's universal recycling law.

By one measure, Vermont's universal recycling law has been a huge success. Across the state, recycling rates are inching up as less trash is going into landfills.

But the 2012 law put more responsibilities on the solid waste districts. And now waste district managers are trying to figure out how to increase their capacity as the amount of money they receive for recycled material drops.

Read the full story here.

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