MICHIGAN CITY, LA PORTE, INDIANA
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Michigan City, La Porte Waste Recycling
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Markets for Recyclables
1. Recycling materials is only part of the recycling process. In order to complete the process and get the recycled materials back into use, you must find markets for your recyclables, people who will buy your recycled products for reuse.
3. While the Recyclable Materials Market Directory is useful to begin finding buyers, buyers are changing all the time and markets are growing and changing. Keep this in mind when trying to find buyers because there may be more out there.
4. There are four different types of buyers for recyclable materials: collectors, processors, and brokers. All three are used as middle-men to transfer recyclables to the end-markets.
- Collectors (also known as haulers) are usually just regular garbage collectors that expand to collecting recyclables from businesses as well. Many charge for collection and will pay nothing or very little for recyclables. Generally they only accept certain kinds of recyclables as well. Collectors are the most convenient market for most businesses.
- Processors are facilities that process recyclable materials before selling them to end-users. Materials are sorted by type and then baled, shredded, or cut into a marketable product that can be sold.
- Brokers buy large amounts of recyclables and organize to have them sold to potential end-market buyers. Some brokers process materials themselves and others will only purchase recyclables that have already been processed. Brokers typically can give you the best prices because they sell large amounts of materials.
- End-users are the people who purchase the recyclable material and manufacture them into new usable products. They usually buy products from brokers, but you can occasionally sell straight to the end-users if you can be a consistent producer of recyclables.
5. The first step is to determine the amount of recyclable materials and the quality of such that you intend on selling. Sometimes it’s hard to determine quality, in this case, contact the buyer and discuss your options with them.
6. Contact buyers in the directory or that you find nearby that buy the material you’re marketing in the quantities you want to sell. Always contact before shipping materials just to make sure.
7. Processing requirements need to be considered before deciding on a buyer. The processing requirements are how the buyer accepts materials, whether they need to be baled, boxed, crushed, etc. This depends on the material being recycled and what the end-markets require.
8. Different buyers also require different levels of quality. This usually refers to the amount of contaminants present in the materials, the higher the level of contaminants, the harder the material will be to market.
- Build quality control into your recycling program by educating workers and ensuring that different recyclables are kept separate.
9. Determine whether the buyer will provide transportation and how much the transportation will cost. This may also include knowing how much is considered a full load and how many trips it will take if you’re transporting a large quantity of recyclables.
10. Do an internet search or ask buyers for references to figure out what kind of reputation the buyer has. It’s good to know whether you r buyer is prompt with payment and pickup of materials and whether they know what they’re doing. You also want to be ensured that the materials are actually going to be recycled.
11. Prices will differ from buyer to buyer, but they also fluctuate like any other commodity due to supply and demand.
12. A contract should be written when a buyer/seller relationship has been agreed upon to ensure that it will actually happen. If it is impossible to create a formal contract, only do business with a buyer who has a good reputation.
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