Solid Waste & Recycling

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Commodities Corner (December 01, 2002)

The recycled commodities marketplace can seem at times a bit like murky water -- risky and somewhat complex. It is compelling to "hand over the reins" to the private sector and let them handle all the...


The recycled commodities marketplace can seem at times a bit like murky water — risky and somewhat complex. It is compelling to “hand over the reins” to the private sector and let them handle all the necessary waste hauling and recycling services, and the associated risks. While this approach can provide a comfortable buffer it often results in loss of critical information (e.g., the flow of revenues generated by the sale of recycled materials). Even when they do decide to hand over the reins to a contractor, program managers must be (and stay) aware of commodity values and trends.

Without all the necessary information program managers are vulnerable. First, defending their programs (when and if they are called into question) or comparing performance will be difficult. Second, they will not have the right in- formation when its time for contracts to be re-negotiated.

Ask contractors to regularly provide average end-market prices. You won’t regret it!

Source: NAPCOR Final Report 2001, Container Recycling Institute, 2002 and The Price Sheet (CSR).

Note: Prices are in Canadian $ per metric tonne.


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