Milwaukee’s Recycling Industry Feeling the Pain of Low Commodity Prices

Waste360 Staff, Staff

April 12, 2016

1 Min Read
Milwaukee’s Recycling Industry Feeling the Pain of Low Commodity Prices

The trend of low commodity prices affecting recyclers across the country continues to be a major issue for the industry.

The latest report on businesses suffering to make ends meet comes from Milwaukee. has the report:

Scrap yards pay for the material they want, based on its weight. As we pull into the scrap yard on Fond du Lac, an electric billboard out front lists today’s prices. Bare Copper - $1.75 a pound, sheet iron - $90 per ton, whole cars - $125, aluminum cans - $0.43. Adams says 'wow' when he sees the price for aluminum cans, he notes they were $0.75 a pound last year.

It’s at scrap yards like this across the country that people feel the drop in commodity prices - the prices the market will pay for items such as copper and plastic.

“One of the reasons for the high price rises was the Chinese [were] buying up a lot of stuff and from what I understand, their economy has slowed down,” Marcus Bandos says. He and his wife own Felix Bandos Waste Materials, a scrap yard on Milwaukee’s near south side.

Bandos says not only are commodity prices low, but the U.S. dollar in strong so buyers are turning to cheaper countries for scrap.

The result - his business is down. "Oh it’s declined by at least 50 percent,” Bandos says.

Read the full story here.

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