By HANK MURPHY
The bottom has dropped out of the market for recycled plastic, paper and cardboard, leading the Upper Sabine Valley Solid Waste Management District (USVSWMD) to suspend recycling in Wood County as of July 8.
“Basically, the world and U.S. market has a glut; a lot of that is due to the Chinese and other countries non-acceptance of our material anymore,” explained Jerry Motley, USVSWMD executive director.
In addition, paper mills, such as those in Mississippi that use recycled paper and cardboard fiber, are filled to the limit and are not accepting anymore, Motley noted.
“I’ve got five loads still in the yard and trying to find a mill to take it,” he said.
The USVSWMD was getting about $100 a ton for corrugated cardboard in January, and by June the price had dropped to $30 per ton, according to Motley, who said he’s been told it may drop as low as $20.
“Our costs are well above that number,” he said.
The situation led the USVSWMD to terminate its recycling program until markets rebound, he said, adding that the six- to 12-month forecast “doesn’t look good.”
The action by USVSWMD comes after it suspended plastics recycling in April because national and world markets for recycled plastics had cratered.
To dispose of plastics, paper and cardboard, people should leave it with their normal residential trash service, or they may take it to one of the county’s four USVSWMD transfer stations, where it will be disposed of along with normal household trash.
For those in Mineola, the third Saturday recycling program at Walmart with the Rotary Club has ended.
People can still take aluminum cans and ferrous scrap metals to one of Wood County’s four transfer stations.