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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE from the Professional Recyclers of Pennsylvania December 10, 2008

Bellwood, PA – The Professional Recyclers of Pennsylvania (PROP) has issued a PROP Alert concerning the current state of recycling markets in light of recent economic changes, to all of its 625 members across the Commonwealth. Since October 2008, recycling markets have declined significantly.

PROP notes to members and the general public that recycling markets will rebound and they encourage recycling efforts to continue as they have been.

Current worldwide economic woes have directly impacted the recycling chain from consumer to processor across the nation and in Pennsylvania. Two major reasons why the global economy has impacted recycling markets in Pennsylvania include:

1. A slumping global economy has resulted in a slowdown in the production of goods (cars, carpets, appliances…). This has decreased the demand for recycled materials and created a surplus of materials available for purchase.

2. In addition to the slumping economy in the United States, issues of high transportation prices and over-production overseas have resulted in a drastic reduction in the need to export recycled materials, further increasing the amount of materials available domestically.

For the short term, listed below are several options to consider for weathering the recent slump in the commodities markets:

1. Don’t over react or panic. Review collection and processing programs for increased efficiency. To rapidly eliminate a collection route or collection of a specific commodity will only prove confusing to your customers. Consider the impact to performance grant awards, program goals, and the additional costs of disposal in lieu of recycling if portions of a collection program are eliminated.

2. Focus on quality. Now more than ever – QUALITY COUNTS! Know your purchaser’s and mill’s specifications to include out throws and prohibitives. The consistent delivery of good materials to a processor and buyer builds a positive relationship.

3. To ship or To store - Slow demand can result in a large inventory of materials (baled, piled, loose) awaiting processing or shipment. Some items are sensitive to light and/or moisture, such as Newsprint and Plastics and require protection for storage. Temporary storage trailers and contracted warehouse space are other options but each has a cost of space, handling (double handling), and the need for additional material handling equipment requirements. Check local zoning requirements or codes for onsite or offsite storage requirements for compliance.

The general public should not let these bad economic times and market situations undermine their commitment to recycling.  Most local programs will continue to collect the same materials with the confidence that markets will again rebound and our recyclable materials will find a home.

The Professional Recyclers of Pennsylvania is the state’s official association representing recycling professionals and is dedicated to promoting and enhancing the interests of recycling, recycling programs, composting and composting programs in Pennsylvania through education, information exchange, technical support, applied research and coordination of recycling industry initiatives.

For further information, please contact John Frederick, Executive Director of the Professional Recyclers of Pennsylvania at 1-800-769-7767 or visit their website: