Plastic recyclers like Quincy Recycle face a tough plastics market. For the past year we’ve seen a significant drop in the price of recycled plastic. Why?
- The price of oil has dropped by half over the past year
- The global economic slowdown is lowering export demand
- Load contamination is driving down the price we get on recycled plastic bales
Since petroleum is the primary ingredient in plastic, when the price of oil drops, the market for recycled plastics drops, too. When the price of oil is low enough, virgin plastic resin prices approach that of recycled plastic.
And the slowing global economy reduces demand for recycled plastics. As China and other developing countries’ economies have cooled off over the past year, the amount of imported plastic they require has dropped as well.
Finally, given the tough market, load contamination has become a major issue. In years’ past the demand for recycled plastic was high enough that buyers were generous in allowing for a degree of contamination in loads. That’s no longer true.
Today buyers are holding recyclers to higher and higher quality standards on recycled plastic bales. That means increased sorting and grading costs on our side, and a greater insistence that our suppliers share those costs.
All of this means that recyclers like us are paying less for the plastic scrap we buy from manufacturers.
Some in our industry are responding by closing recycling plants. Among the large publicly traded companies, there is even consideration of dropping out of the recycling business altogether.
Quincy Recycle is committed to recycling in the long haul. So much so that we’re working with our manufacturing partners on flexible pricing that will allow us to continue to provide solutions to their scrap problems for years to come.
Quincy Recycle also continues to grow – over the past year we’ve added two new recycling plants — one in the St. Louis area and one in West Bend, Wisconsin. We know that B2B recycling will continue, and that like all cycles the current dip in recycled plastic prices will reverse.
If you have questions about plastics pricing and how it affects your business, we strongly encourage you to contact your Quincy Recycle representative. They are extremely knowledgably about these issues and are committed to working with our manufacturing partners to find the solutions.
Freight costs are a large part of the cost of industrial recycling. Keep your freight costs under control by organizing your loads so you are not “shipping air.”
One key to a profitable recycling solution is to maximize your freight cost-per-ton on trailer loads.
“Heavier loads have a lower cost-per-ton than lighter ones from a freight cost standpoint,” John Danker, General Manager of our Chicago area plant in Alsip pointed out. “42,000 to 46,000 lbs. for a 53’ trailer is a good weight.”
Some tips on optimizing weight:
- Stack bales three high, two wide to maximize space usage.
- Double-stack Gaylord boxes for maximum weight and stability.
- Palletize or use Gaylords rather than shipping loose materials.
And think stability when loading. Unstable loads are dangerous and less profitable. Trailer loads with collapsed bale stacks or shifted bales take longer to unload, increasing processing costs.
Tips for stable loads:
- Put like with like – uniform bales and pallets are more stable.
- Load the heaviest bales on the bottom, and keep in mind OSHA rule 1910.176(b)(1) that requires properly securing material to prevent collapsing bale stacks.
- Stacking the last two rows only two high prevents bales from shifting and leaning against and falling out of the doors.
Influence, Impact, and Accountability. That’s Josh Hall in a nutshell. Influence because he is persistent in finishing difficult jobs. Impact because he consistently performs at a high level. Accountability because he acknowledges when he doesn’t have the answer, & seeks to find it. When you ask Brian Lansing, GM of Quincy Exact Solutions, you can hear the excitement as he says, “I have challenged Josh for the last couple of months on a difficult production line build. It has been a project where if it could go wrong, it did. When it seemed like there was no end to the project insight, he would continue to push and seek solutions to the problems that arose. He has always been committed to his work and a person the rest of the QES team can rely on.”
When did you start with Quincy Recycle?
What was your job title when you started?
What is your current title?
If you had to pick one, which Core Value is your favorite?
What was the most challenging thing to learn in your roles?
The most challenging thing to learn as a Tech is troubleshooting complex machinery issues, this involves identifying and diagnosing problems, understanding the root causes, and finding effective solutions to get the machinery back up and running quickly but can be very rewarding.
What was the most surprising or fun thing to learn?
I was surprised with the training and level of automation. Training in automation can be a lot fun.
What’s your favorite part about working at Quincy Recycle?
My favorite part about working at Quincy recycle is the large network of support we have from our surrounding plants.
What would you like prospective employees to know about Quincy Recycle?
Safety is a top priority at Quincy recycle, we have high level of teamwork and collaboration in a fast paced environment.
What are some of your hobbies outside of work?
I enjoy activities with my family, 3d printing and flying drones.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever read or received?
Never sacrifice quality for speed, but it doesn’t mean you can’t have both.
If you had to pick a song to portray the culture of Quincy Recycle, what would it be and why?
“Eye of the Tiger” because of the fast pace positive energy.
The waste and recycling industry is constantly evolving and innovating new ways to recycle materials. One area that has been gaining more attention in recent years is the handling of commingled plastic loads.
But what exactly are commingled plastic loads, and how can we properly recycle them?
In this blog post, we’ll answer those questions and explain how Quincy Recycle can help you properly dispose of your commingled plastic waste.
What is Commingled Plastic?
A commingled plastic load is when two or more types of plastic are mixed together in one bale. Bales can contain different types of plastic, such as HDPE, PET, PVC, or polypropylene.
Mixed plastic waste can be difficult to recycle because it is an unsorted bundle of different types of plastics, making it hard to separate and process. However, it is important to recycle commingled plastic waste as it keeps the material out of landfills and reduces our impact on the environment.
How Quincy Recycles Handles Commingled Plastic Loads
At Quincy Recycle, we accept commingled plastic loads that are within industry specs. Our state-of-the-art plant can handle hundreds of tons of commingled plastic waste every month and has the technology and processes in place to properly recycle them. We take these processes seriously. We are dedicated to sustainability and minimizing waste through proper recycling procedures.
Our recycling process begins with sorting the plastic into different types of plastics. Our trained staff oversees the process, ensuring that we get the best quality materials for recycling. Once the sorting process is complete, we then grind or shred the plastic into smaller pieces and prepare it for sale to manufacturers.
One key benefit of recycling commingled plastic loads through Quincy Recycle is that it allows customers to dispose of their waste in a cost-effective and efficient way.
Rather than having to sort through their waste themselves, customers can simply dispose of their commingled plastic loads and trust that we will handle the rest. We also offer pickup services to make the process even more convenient for our customers.
Our customers can make the process easier for us, too. While we offer top market value for loads, there are a few things that can cause loads to be downgraded. These include:
- Contaminated loads with too many plastic bags, paper, or mixed rigid plastics
- Contaminated loads with other prohibitives, like tin and aluminum cans
- Cherry-picked loads with valuable plastics removed, such as #2 HDPE
In short, the more “hands-on” we have to be to manually sort through the loads, the less valuable they will be. Commingled loads with solely post-consumer, #1 to #7 plastic containers will usually yield the most value.
Industries We Commonly Work With
A considerable number of industries produce commingled plastic loads that need recycling.
The food and beverage industry, for example, generates large amounts of commingled plastic waste from bottles and packaging materials. The retail industry produces excess plastic bags, product packaging, and storage materials. The beauty industry produces waste from packaging materials like shampoo and conditioner bottles and containers.
Quincy Recycle understands that large amounts of plastic waste are a problem. We offer recycling services that specifically target commingled plastic loads from various industries.
The End Goal
Quincy Recycle has extensive experience in recycling plastic waste. The recycling process can be complicated for commingled plastic, but we have the expertise, equipment, and resources to make it happen.
Companies that choose to work with us can rest assured that they are working with a partner who cares about the environment and can help them achieve their sustainability goals. By recycling commingled plastic loads, you help reduce landfill pollution, conserve resources, and minimize the impact on the environment.
We are committed to doing our best to help manufacturers reduce their carbon footprint. Reach out to us or call us today at 800.311.6097 to recycle your commingled plastic loads. Let’s help build a brighter future for our planet.