Re:HDPE/PET markets

John Reindl (
Fri, 27 Aug 1999 15:02:08 -0600

Patty -

The market for the PET from our local MRF is Wellman. Wellman is
already marking down the PET due to the presence of PVC in the bales.
The MRF will not risk any more degradation of the bales by going after
the custom PET, which would result in more PVC contamination. I
agree with the decision of the people at the MRF .

Because of this decision, local governments and private haulers tell
people not to recycle the custom PET. It is instead put into the solid
waste stream which goes to the landfill.

For the little bit of PVC that is produced, this is costing the loss of a lot
of PET. I think that the local units of government ought to send a bill to
the PVC industry to get the industry to reimburse the communities for
the added costs and losses.


> John,
> Putting the custom PET in with the HDPE seems unnessary. While PVC is an
> issue, most buyers have the capability of auto sorting out the PVC and
> sorters can be trained to catch a lot of the PVC - as long as you are only
> including screw top containers. You are right that custom PET is about 50%
> of the PET stream now (and growing). You might want to reconsider the
> practice of putting it in with the HDPE - I am sure it lowers the value of
> the HDPE too. You write "We are sending a lot of good material to the
> solid waste stream and losing a lot of revenue due to the PVC problem."
> What material is going to the landfill? Patty
> >Hi Patty -
> >
> >I am not sure of our local MRF's exact practices, but they too are
> >putting in other plastics with the mixed HDPE, including both #3-7's and
> >custom PET. The market has OK'd this and presumably is able to market
> >their regrind with a certain amount of these materials in with the HDPE.
> >
> >Adding the custom PET to the HDPE stream reduces the revenue from
> >the custom PET over selling it to the PET market, but it reduces the
> >problem of rejection of the PET bales from look-alike PVC.
> >
> >I will be very thankful when PVC is finally eliminated from the market
> >place. Currently, custom PET is about half of all PET containers and we
> >discourage citizens from adding these to the recyclables. Our MRF won't
> >add the custom PET to the soda PET due to the concern of PVC
> >contamination from look-alikes. We are sending a lot of good material to
> >the solid waste stream and losing a lot of revenue due to the PVC
> >problem. This is truly a case of the tail wagging the dog.
> >
> >John Reindl, Recycling Manager
> >Dane County, WI
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