Over the past year, prices for used aluminum beverage cans (UBCs) have been stable while recovery rates have been reported by a number of sources across North America to be slightly increasing for both deposit and non-deposit programs.
The American Aluminum Association in the United States recently reported that the recycling rate for UBCs had increased from 50 per cent in 2003 to 51 per cent in 2004, the first increase since 1997. This is partly attributed to a doubling of the redemption value of beverage cans in California.
From 2003 to 2004, Waste Diversion Ontario reported a seven per cent rise in UBCs recovered through Ontario’s curbside recycling program. In the east, Nova Scotia’s Resource Recovery Fund Board reported a one per cent increase in the number of UBCs recovered for the period August 2003 to September 2004 compared to August 2004 to September 2005.
To the west, Manitoba Product Stewardship Corporation reported a seven per cent rise from 2003 to 2004 in UBC recovery while Encorp Pacific reported a four per cent increase for British Columbia. The Alberta Beverage Container Recycling Corporation reported a one per cent increase.
The year-to-date average price for UBCs reported by municipalities across Canada is $1,750 a tonne. In Ontario, spot market prices have ranged from a low of CDN$1,619 per tonne in September to a high of $1,973 in April. (See figure.)
Focused municipal advertising campaigns in the United States (e.g. Aluminum Can Council’s Curbside Value Partnership program) and others under development in Ontario and elsewhere should continue these trends.
Contact Damian Bassett at 416-594-3457, ext 3457 or visit www.csr.org (CSR Sheet located under “Publications”)