Crashing Crude Oil Prices Hurt Recyclers


by | Apr 14, 2015

ATROne industry that isn’t benefiting from the plunging oil prices is the recycling industry.

Crashing crude prices mean it costs less for plastics companies to use virgin plastic than recycled materials, reports CBS News. Brent Bell, Waste Management’s vice president for recycling, tells the news outlet that prices for all plastics have fallen about 20 percent to 30 percent compared with last year.

The Wall Street Journal reports that new PET now costs about 63 cents a pound, 7 cents less than recycled PET.

Advanced Technology Recycling, an ISO 14001 and R2 Certified electronic recycling company, says it’s one of the few tech-savvy recyclers using reuse to reduce strategies to create new jobs despite the falling oil prices.

While many recycling companies have focused their attention on increasing processing capabilities to recover dwindling commodities, ATR says it uses technology to offer a more sustainable approach.

Brodie Ehresman, ATR’s national business development manager, says “a growing number of Fortune 500 customers now utilize ATR to reclaim millions of dollars each year when refreshing their computers.”

Additionally, the company has recently acquired its GSA Schedule and plans to offer this same program to any federal agency seeking a return on their decommissioned electronics.

Takeaway: If oil prices continue to collapse, recyclers should turn to innovative technology and approaches to increase recycling rates.


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