The ongoing challenges of recycling markets brought changes to our program this past week.
We receive a large amount of pill bottles, mostly from the pharmacies. These were shipped separately in large plastic bags because they would fall out of the bales, especially if there was a large number all at once.
The white pill bottles are #2 coloured plastic which is a very recyclable plastic. We were being paid $25/tonne for them but that had changed to a charge of $35.00/tonne. The amount we shipped was small so the costs were less than $10.00.
We shipped a box last Tuesday. Thursday morning the company we ship to informed us they no longer had a market for pill bottles. The company they sold them to had lost its buyer for the ground plastic made from the bottles.
All is not lost. There is a market for #2 coloured plastic. Larger pill bottles mixed in with the other materials will not fall out of a bale.
This means that we can still recycle pill bottles that are at least three inches tall at the shoulder, the rounded edge at the top.
The other part of the discussion with the company made me wish we had more space. The #2 natural plastic like milk jugs is valuable at $600/tonne.
The problem is we would need to save half a semi-trailer of jugs to make one bale as they are so bulky.
The semi-trailers attached to our building are used for storing e-waste, aluminum cans for baling, bins of glass and the wheeled carts we move recyclables in.
This is one opportunity we will have to pass up.
Just to clarify, we will continue to recycle this plastic but will not separate it out and sell it. It will go with the rest of the commingled materials for sorting in Winnipeg.