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Green Movement Slowed By Economic Downturn

decline.jpgThe economic slump has affected organic sales and is now impacting local green industries both large and small.

ConocoPhillips told Boulder County Business Report that it still plans to advance its oil and alternative energy exploraiton, but at a slower pace. The company has pushed back opening its Louisville campus by two years, from 2011 to 2013. The company said the delay is a direct result of a weak economy.

In October, Xcel announced it was cutting the rate it would pay for renewable energy credits associated with solar systems of 10 kilowatts or less to $1.50 from $2.50 per watt. The change means increased upfront costs for solar energy systems and in a slowing economy is expected to hurt demand.

Eco-Cycle Executive Director Eric Lombardi told Boulder County Business Report that sale of materials at the recycling nonprofit has dropped more than 50 percent in just 60 days. The prices of some recycled plastics have dropped from $800 a ton to $200 a ton. Cardboard prices have also fallen from $150 a ton to $20 a ton, and scrap metals now fetch only $15 a ton, compared with the peak price of $150 a ton. As the global economy slows down, the overall demand for recyclables is falling.

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