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BOSTON ( AP) — Anyone who can’t make it to the moon to gather a few lunar rocks now has the opportunity to buy one right here on Earth.
A 12- pound lunar meteorite discovered in Northwest Africa last year is up for auction by Boston- based RR Auction and could sell for $ 500,000 or more during online bidding that runs from today until Oct. 18.
It is “one of the most important meteorites available for acquisition anywhere in the world today,” and one of the biggest pieces of the moon ever put up for sale, RR said.
The rock classified as NWA 11789, also known as “Buagaba,” was found last year in a remote area of Mauritania but probably plunged to Earth thousands of years ago.
ALBANY, N. Y. — America’s recycling industry is in the dumps.
A crash in the global market for recyclables is forcing communities to make hard choices about whether they can afford to keep recycling or should simply send all those bottles, cans and plastic containers to the landfill.
Mountains of paper have piled up at sorting centers, worthless. Cities and towns that once made money on recyclables are instead paying high fees to processing plants to take them. Some financially strapped recycling processors have shut down entirely, leaving municipalities with no choice but to dump or incinerate their recyclables.
“There’s no market. We’re paying to get rid of it,” said Ben Harvey, president of EL Harvey & Sons, which handles recyclables from about 30 communities at its sorting facility in Westborough, Massachusetts. “Seventy- five percent of what goes through our plant is worth nothing to negative numbers now.”
It all stems from a policy shift by China, long the world’s leading recyclables buyer. At the beginning of the year it enacted an antipollution program t hat closed its doors to loads of waste paper, metals or plastic unless they’re 99.5 percent pure. That’s an unattainable standard at U. S. singlestream recycling processing plants designed to churn out bales of paper or plastic that are, at best, 97 percent free of contaminants such as foam cups and food waste.
The resulting glut of recyclables has caused prices to plummet from levels already depressed by other economic forces, including lower prices for oil, a key ingredient in plastics.
The three largest publicly traded residential wastehauling and recycling companies in North America — Waste Management, Republ i c Services and Waste Connections — reported steep drops in recycling revenues in their second- quarter financial results. Houstonbased Waste Management reported its average price for recyclables was down 43 percent from the previous year.
“A year ago, a bale of mixed paper was worth about $ 100 per ton; today we have to pay about $ 15 to get rid of it,” said Richard Coupland, vice president for municipal sales at Phoenixbased Republic, which handles 75 million tons of municipal solid waste and 8 million tons of recyclables nationwide annually. “Smaller recycling companies aren’t able to stay in business and are shutting down.” Joan Cusack, actress, 56 Emily Deschanel, actress, 42
Ben Harvey, an owner at EL Harvey & Sons, a waste and recycling company, stands on bundles of residential mixed fiber, comprised of a variety of paper and cardboard, on Sept. 6 in Westborough, Mass. The company is currently stacking and holding onto about 2,500 tons of the material, which is awaiting a destination where a recycler will process the bundles.