I received a call from a community asking how much we pay for recyclables. I thought they were talking about paying back the deposit for beverage containers so I explained there is no deposit/return system in Manitoba except for beer cans and bottles.
That wasn’t what they were asking. They thought we paid for all recyclable materials we receive.
I explained we cannot pay for materials as the money we receive for the materials we sell usually doesn’t cover the shipping costs. We also pay to have most of the materials sorted in Winnipeg.
The Flin Flon Recycling Centre is operated by a non-profit organization. The money needed to cover the costs of operations comes from a variety of sources including municipalities, rental income, subsidies and pickup fees.
Selling recyclables was only 8.5% of our revenue in 2018 and more than half of that came from returning empty beer containers. Prices for cardboard fell dramatically at the end of 2017 and made small increases in 2018.
In March, we began separating aluminum cans to sell to help offset the drop in cardboard prices and increased sorting costs.
Here are the numbers. Sorting costs increased in August from $45/tonne to $110.00. We found another company who only charged $65/tonne.
Our aluminum prices is $700.00. Cardboard prices were between $15 and $45/tonne.
It definitely takes a lot of aluminum cans to make a tonne so we compared prices per bale of material.
One bale of aluminum cans which averages about 125 kg is worth about $87.50. One bale of cardboard which averages 350 kg at $45./tonne is worth $15.00.
Prices are beginning to improve so more adjustments will come in 2019.