Recylables are piling up in storage buildings, in people’s backyards, and even on floating barges going nowhere, because the market for recycled raw materials has declined precipitously with the worldwide economy. As one expert put it, “When nobody is making nothing, they sure don’t need to make it with recycled materials.”
Recycled paper, that a year ago sold for $105/ton, is now fetching $20-25/ton. Tin has declined from $325/ton to $5/ton. The prices for recyclable plastic, cardboard, and other materials have experienced similar declines. For some recyclables, there is now essentially no market.