Anyone involved in the recycling industry this year has noticed a large downturn in commodity prices. It is discouraging for companies who believe in sustainability efforts but are trying to make it economical. China has always been the largest buyer of the world’s recyclables. According to CBS News, China is following an anti-pollution policy that includes no purchases of paper, metals or plastic that has more then 0.5% contamination. This has plummeted the value of commodities in the USA.
This isn’t very discouraging for us at Combs. Our business is there to provide our customers with downstream recycling in order to separate out the recyclables from the contaminants. We are able to pull out a pure recycling product. So why are rebates still low? The recyclable market is flooded with contaminated material from MFRs (Material Recovery Facilities). Municipalities are not as educated on what is recyclable and what is not. At Combs we have material that can stand out, and we are diligent about finding markets for our recyclables to make sure we are getting the best rebate.
Even though Combs is able to pull out the recyclables with little contamination, there may be a missed opportunity to recover even more material via upstream separation. There are recyclables that get landfilled because once they come in contact with contamination, they become worthless. If you are having trouble with contamination or are looking for higher diversion rates, Combs can help. Keep tuned to hear how Combs can help their customers upstream to maximize their sustainability efforts.