Waste firms reported a sunny outlook for their operations over the summer, but descending metals prices alarmed many recyclers.
Recyclers are struggling with low metals prices as some economists warn a commodities “supercycle” may be ending, which means 15 to 20 years of rising prices will now be followed by a similar period of downturn.
The end of the US quantitative easing programme and a slowdown in demand from China have pushed commodities prices down, with copper at its lowest point for a number of years. At the end of June the price of copper was listed on the London Metals Exchange at $6,750 per tonne, lower than the previous slump in 2011.
Two more textile recycling companies have ceased trading in the last month, while one has been taken over following going into administration.
Leicester-based Ragtex UK, which graded, sorted and exported clothing from the UK has gone into liquidation, but Ragtex Collections UK in Nottingham continues trading.
Meanwhile, Kent-based textiles recycler Retrograde has been taken over by Envirotex Recycling after going into administration.
Councils will be banned from permitting the building of incinerators, slurry pits or landfill sites on the green belt, the communities secretary has said.
Eric Pickles said local authorities will be discouraged from issuing planning permits for waste facilities in areas covered by the green belt policy, which limits urban growth.
Some of the biggest waste management companies in Europe have reported positive half year results, although they have highlighted challenges in their waste and recycling operations. In response, they are looking to restructure and diversify their revenue streams.
Sita’s parent Suez Environnment posted a 6.7% increase in pre-tax profits in comparison to the same period last year. Veolia’s pretax profits were up 28.4%, and Pennon group said that the performance of its waste subsidiary Viridor was in line with expectations.