From 2009 to 2012, most recycling markets were rocking — but as consumer trends come and go, so do profits.
For the past three years, devalued materials and higher operation costs have driven plant shut downs and, at the very least, decreased investments from some companies.
Conversely, other companies are pumping more money into the industry while commodities are cheap, hoping for a turnaround.
Other trends are rising from rocky times, like exploration into new markets, or new business models and partnerships to share the impact of negative revenue. The goal is to preserve an industry that, in and of itself, is about preservation. An industry that, through ups and downs, has generated billions in revenue, employs tens of thousands, and reduces carbon footprints.