A number of recycling depots across the country are reporting serious financial difficulties because of the falling price of recycled goods. The recycling depot on Bowen Island, just north of Vancouver says it won’t take low-grade plastics and glass jars because it has no more room for them and can no longer sell them. In Tofino, Son Bird Refuse and Recycling is stockpiling all its recycled goods because the bottom has fallen out of the market. This is due to a global slump in the price of recycled goods. Many recyclers used to be paid for their goods, but are now choosing to stockpile them instead of paying contractors to remove them and use them or just take them to a landfill.
Part of what’s happening is the collapse of the price of oil and the price of most other goods, including recyclables. For example, cardboard used to go for about $25 per tonne, but some recyclers say they have to pay $37 per tonne to have the waste removed. And since the economy doesn’t look like it’s going to get better in the immediate future, this problem is likely to worsen.