Metal recycling prices dropped - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Metal recycling prices dropped

Terry Telfer Terry Telfer

By Paul Drewes - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Recycling of cans is becoming even more popular as our economy slows, but those that depend on other types of recycling have been hit hard by the bottom falling out on metal prices.

Along with the sounds of stocks falling over the past months, the clang of metal prices dropping has been heard loud and clear.

That drop is having a direct impact on just how much people are getting for recycled materials.

It used to pay pretty good to bring in unwanted or unused metals.

But in the past year, prices for aluminum have dropped about 30 percent. For copper, they have plunged 50 percent.

But even though prices are down, business is up for island recyclers.

"It's a way for people to make extra money during these hard times, so as the economy gets worse, recycling picks up," said Terry Telfer, president of Reynolds Recycling.

In fact, Reynolds Recycling is expanding.

It just opened up a new facility next to Ala Moana, along with another location on Maui, and they're not done.

"We're looking to open two more HI-5 centers in the next three months, so we are still in expansion mode," added Telfer.

Recyclers are cashing in on more people making a little extra money during this down time, especially ahead of the holidays.

But lower prices mean less for those turning in most of their scrap metal.

"People are going to have to expect lower prices for those commodities, outside of HI-5, you'll still get your 5 cents there."

There is a positive effect of drastically reduced prices for metals.

Copper, once worth a lot more, is now no longer as attractive to thieves, and recyclers have seen a reduction in the stolen metal.

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