California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

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Markets for Recovered Material

Impacts of Global Markets

In 2016, 62 percent of recyclable materials exported from California were sent to China. In July 2017, China announced a policy called National Sword, which limits the import of contaminated recyclable commodities. For more information on China’s new policies on recyclable material imports, please visit our National Sword page.

Market Development

CalRecycle assists the development of recycling markets and businesses, and promotes the efficient collection and recycling of secondary materials into high quality, value-added products.

  • Business Waste Reduction. A directory of waste prevention information for businesses.
  • Environmentally Preferable Purchasing. Every product purchased has an impact on human health and the environment.
  • Compost Market Development. Nearly 170 businesses in California produce compost and mulch. CalRecycle provides regulatory oversight and marketing assistance to compost and mulch producers.
  • Publications. Market development-related publications from the CalRecycle publications catalog.
  • Recycled-Content Products Directory and RecycleStore. Find products made from recycled material. The Recycled Content Product Directory, the larger database, may include products of any business in any country that manufactures or produces with recycled material. RecycleStore lists only products of businesses that are located in one of California's Recycling Market Development Zones and is targeted at consumers.
  • Recycling Market Development Zone Program. CalRecycle funds up to 75 percent of the startup costs, up to $2 million per business, of qualified recycling-based businesses that are located in specified areas of California.
  • State Agency Buy Recycled Campaign. The State Agency Buy Recycled Campaign (SABRC) is a joint effort of CalRecycle and the Department of General Services (DGS) to implement California law requiring California agencies and the Legislature to purchase products with recycled content.
  • Recycled-Content Building Products. This section of the Recycled Content Product Directory lists manufacturers of recycled-content building products.
  • Recycled Tire Products and Uses. Californians discard 31 million tires, and import another 3 million discarded tires, every year. Tires recycled in California are used to produce tire shreds and crumbs for new products, recycled in rubberized asphalt concrete (RAC), used in civil engineering applications, or combusted as fuel.
  • Rural Market Development Resources. Market development activities can help rural jurisdictions build a nucleus of creativity and business skills resulting in new end uses for previously discarded materials, in job creation, and even in greater leverage in the marketplace of recycled commodities.

Recovered Materials Markets

CalRecycle at one time maintained the Recovered Materials Marketing Guides to provide recycling and marketing information for collectors, processors, product manufacturers, academics, and the general public. However, numerous commercial ventures and trade journals now provide price information with better speed and accuracy.

For recovered materials market prices, there are several commercially available resources, including:

U.S. EPA also maintains a pricing information resource page.

Other information regarding glass, metals, organics, paper, plastic, and tires is located under those topics within the CalRecycle website.

If you maintain market prices of recovered materials and would like to be listed on this page as a resource, contact the staff person listed below.

Last updated: August 31, 2010
Market Development
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