Recycling Prices Down In The Dumps

Alex Hightower
Alex Hightower

You may not get the price you want when you turn in your paper, plastic or aluminum cans at Amarillo recycling sites.

Poor market values and closed processing plants are putting local recycling sites in a pinch. They have seen the price for recycling materials drop by more than half in two weeks.

Alex Hightower recently started recycling a few weeks ago to earn a little extra cash. "My main reason is because I don't get paid any other way and this is the only way I get paid," he said.

Most recyclers are not receiving the price they want for their recycling material, which is putting pressure on recycling sites.  Site Manager Kim Vincent says they receive a number of calls from people shopping around for the best recycling prices. "People don't understand how the market works why were not paying as much. We try to do the best we can to explain to people," Vincent said.

In just a few weeks ago aluminum cans were at 73 cents per pound. Today, you will get 20 cents per pound. A lot of people blame the economy, "The economy the mills are over loaded demand is less the supply is more. All that contributes to the prices going down," Vincent explained.

For some the price plunge is not going to stop them from recycling. Hightower says he recycles for more than just the money."I'm use to not getting paid at all I jus started about 4 weeks ago. I'm in for the environment."

Managers from area recycling sites say trashing recycled items is not an option. The average cost to store recycling material is close to $2,000 a day. Local companies say they will absorb that cost until they can start shipping out material, which may not be until next year.