We've moved!

Social Icons

twitterfacebooklinkedinrss feed

Monday, December 8, 2008

Junk Is Junk! Bottom Falls out of Recycling Market

I don't know if Dick Wiedenman will laugh or cry...

Recycling has picked up in the last few years, not because everyone has turned into treehuggers, but because folks could make money on recyclable materials. Now the New York Times reports the recession is hammering even that market:

The precipitous drop in prices for recyclables makes the stock market’s performance seem almost enviable.

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 [Matt Richtel and Kate Galbraith, "Back at Junk Value, Recyclables Are Piling Up," New York Times, 2008.12.08].

Kanawha County, West Virginia, is asking its residents to stockpile their plastics and metals. There's one more reason to buy less stuff: you might not be able to throw it away!

But wait a minute: I feel a brainstorm coming on! The recession was caused by the housing bust. Lots of people can't afford houses now. China isn't buying up our recyclables. Hmm... how about we build cheap houses out of recyclables?!? Earthships, anyone?

Build your next house from junk! Read:


  1. Interesting. Haven't they stopped collecting glass at the recycling center? Just talked to our good man at Campbell Supply who tells me the cost of tires should be coming down too. Most things will probably fall. I'm told land rents have already dropped. jh

  2. Our recycling center isn't taking glass? Dang! I've got a whole box of jars to take in.

  3. Didn't the City of Madison just bid out a new recycling machine for about $144,000 for the recycling center? As good caretakers, we should continue recycling efforts. Maybe grind up glass and use it in our road overlay and chip seal projects. It makes for a sensational road bed that lasts forever.

    Deflation can be harder to get a handle on that inflation, but one thing is for sure, no matter what economy we are facing, cash is king.

  4. Road overlay from glass?! Does that really work? Interesting idea, Anon! We need more ideas like that about how we can put the resources (including the trash!) we have to good use right here.

  5. LCD TV prices drop. 26" at Madison RS $378. Walmart $339 for same. It's all coming down.

  6. Anon 10:04 -----
    If your point is how much can be saved by shopping in Walmart, why don't you check out what the world's biggest conglomerate does to most main streets. Also, it might be a good idea if you would just go down to Benton, Arkansas, where all the streets, etc. will be in excellent repair --- since that is whom/what you basically would be supporting anyway. Walmart really cares only about Walmart -- don't kid yourself.

  7. No Dan, my point is a person votes with their disposable income and no one can take that away from them. We might wish for them to spend differently, but they are going to weigh pros/cons and choose. It seems harsh, but that’s capitalism, which like it or not Walmart does well. Randy Schaefer saw an opening for $320,000 of tax credits that benefited him. Is that free-market capitalism? No. I’m not going to criticize people who shop elsewhere when many are struggling on $8-$12 hour jobs, especially when historically town fathers made concerted efforts to keep competition out. John Hess


Comments are closed, as this portion of the Madville Times is in archive mode. You can join the discussion of current issues at MadvilleTimes.com.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.