Global Shift Puts Squeeze on Twin Cities Recycling

Plunging oil prices and a slowdown of the Chinese economy are causing ripple effects in the Minnesota recycling market, wiping out monthly profits that cities use to drive down costs for the service.

The falling price for recyclable materials, coupled with changes in what people are recycling, is putting a financial strain on processors and creating uncertainty about the future taxpayer costs for recycling programs. It also underscores how the blue bins that ­pepper alleys and curbs across the Twin Cities are deeply entangled in the whims of the global economy.

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