Last summer, our garbage was suddenly worth its weight in gold.

Today it's priced like garbage again and probably even less.

Blue box revenues have fallen through the floor since July, mirroring the price collapse for oil and other commodities.

* Newsprint has dropped from $190 per tonne to $35. It's the biggest waste stream at 13,400 tonnes.

* Cardboard has dropped from $130 per tonne to $25.

* Aluminum has been slashed from $2,000 per tonne to $1,000. It's the most lucrative waste stream at 420 tonnes.

* Scrap metal has dropped from $310 per tonne to $40.

* Plastics are down from $800 per tonne to $400.

It's a roller-coaster plunge but Jim Archibald, regional director of waste management, isn't fretting about taxpayer impacts.

If garbage prices stay low, the region will dip into savings and rely on an industrial subsidy to cushion impacts, he said. But Archibald expects prices to recover to more reasonable levels next year.

"It has dropped significantly since the summer but those prices were ridiculous," he said.

Residents generate 36,000 tonnes of blue box waste a year.

It's good that their committment to recycling remains strong; let's hope other municipalities don't decide to cut corners.