12/14/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Slumping Recycled Materials Prices No Longer Worth It For Manhole Cover Thieves

In just months we went from common thieves stealing power cables and iron fences to a market that couldn't care less for reclaimed materials. The price for scrap anything is in the toilet, and likely to stay there for a few years. No more green washing about recyclable water bottles - please.

On the good side: you no longer have to worry about your catalytic converter disappearing.

A sudden collapse in worldwide demand for re- cyclables, particularly from China, has scrap dealers from Sacramento to San Diego stockpiling curbside collections as never before and charging walk-in customers for their throwaways...Stacks of baled paper, plastic and metal are mounting at the Sacramento Recycling & Transfer Station plant on Fruitridge Road because market prices are too low to turn a profit or, worse, no buyers can be found, its operators said.

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