The New Mexico Recycling Coalition (NMRC) board and its Executive Director, recently provide guidance to its Coalition Members for 2009 relative to the current downturn in the recycling markets. It provided the following advice and recommendations on how best to sustain recycling programs and ensure success for this year and the future:
1. Prices for recycled material have collapsed. Indeed this was a shock to many of us, but in truth this is a cyclical market like any other, and it has had its lows and highs in the past. Recycling will always see volatility and members should plan accordingly.
2. To buffer from the shock of sudden market fluctuations, the NMRC recommends that members work with the same processor for material, rather than spot marketing material to the highest bidder each month, suggesting that loyalty will pay off in times like these.
3. In this current year, the NMRC advises members to focus on the quality of material. In these lower value times, it is doubly important to be providing processors with marketable material. NMRC suggests to members to ask end-markets users as to their detailed material specifications and pass that on to commodity suppliers, participants and customers.
4. Re-evaluate your education materials to ensure that recycled content suppliers know how to prepare the material.
NMRC traditionally serves as an advocate for increases in recycling and program expansions. NMRC Board still wish for this to happen, but in the current economy they also want to be realistic in their expectations. NMRC encourages members to do the same with their recycling programs. Again, focusing on improving quality of material for programs already in place is key. In the move to expand, weigh the opportunity carefully. Evaluate the need to scale-back carefully as well. In these times, there may not be a market for certain materials and tough decisions will need to be made, however it is hard to take something away from participants and then re-educate them when you begin to accept that material again.
Source: New Mexico Recycling Coalition Board