Sharp rise in the price of recyclable materials

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Sharp rise in the price of recyclable materials

Ontario will run out of landfill space at over the next decade.

The value of recyclable materials has jumped in the province year over year. Materials like plastic, cardboard and aluminum have brought in millions to waste management agencies.

Essex-Windsor Solid Waste Authority (EWSWA) recycling revenue more than doubled in 2021. The agency that handles solid waste in Windsor-Essex raised nearly $2.8 million more last year than in 2020, thanks to recycling, according to its annual report.

The document explains that prices have increased for the majority of recyclable products. Only the prices of a few, including glass, have not increased, it says.

A ton of polyethylene terephthalate plastic, sometimes used to make plastic bottles, has gone from less than $200 in 2020 to around $900 this year. The price per tonne of newsprint has quadrupled, from $50 in 2019 to $200 in 2022.

Michelle Bishop, Essex-Windsor Solid Waste Authority (EWSWA)

According to EWSWA CEO Michelle Bishop, the last time her agency made nearly $5 million in profits was about 10 years ago. I believe it was around 2012. We indeed had a banner year at the time and we received about $4.8 million, she says.

“Revenue from the processing, sorting and sale of these materials has increased significantly from 2020. We were at $4.9 million for 2021.”< /p>— Michelle Bishop, Managing Director of EWSWA

The agency is still expecting high prices this year and has already exceeded its forecast, adds Bishop.

She thinks the change in consumer habits during the pandemic has caused the prices of recyclable materials to skyrocket. Since the pandemic, it's been no secret that many of us are shopping online and getting products delivered right to the door […] This has increased the demand for cardboard , she says.

It sees an increase in prices in all areas, both in fiber and metal, as well as in plastics.

Other recycling organizations across the country are also benefiting from the rising price of recyclables, says Ken Friesen, executive director of the Canadian Beverage Container Recycling Association. This provides more money for recycling organizations, he says.

Ève Bourgeois studied in the Department of Political Science and the School of Environment at the University of Toronto.

Ève Bourgeois, postdoctoral researcher in urban resilience at the National School of Public Administration (ÉNAP), believes that we should rather talk about a return to normal after China's ban on the import of low-quality recyclable materials.

“There has been a very significant decline in the value of recycled materials from Canada and elsewhere in America North. Yes, we are seeing an increase, but you have to put that in perspective given the significant drop in the past. »

— Ève Bourgeois, postdoctoral researcher in urban resilience at the National School of Public Administration

In 2018, China closed its doors to recyclable materials from other countries , causing the value of these products to fall.

The fact that some companies like Pepsi have decided to stop manufacturing and using new plastic to favor recycled plastic may also explain the rise in value of recyclables, she points out.

With information from CBC

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