Some recycling businesses in and around Ottawa are looking to diversify as the price of scrap steel is at an all-time low.

Scrap steel was worth up to $270 per metric ton a few years ago but is now sitting at $90, with some recyclers saying they've stopped relying on it for a profit.


Foxy Recyle handles e-waste, such as copper, aluminum and gold found in old computers. (Stu Mills/CBC)

"We've kept it at 90 because [we] can't drop it any more. It's just outrageous," said Tyler Griesseier, the manager at AIM Metal Recycling.

Shaun Hughes, the president of Foxy Recycle on Baseline Road, said the company is now certified to handle e-waste, such as copper, aluminum and gold found in old computers.

He said that as exports of scrap steel to China have practically stopped, fewer people are bringing it in.

"The peddlers that go around picking up your chairs and your steel cabinets and your shelves at the end of your lane way, those people aren't out as much. We've actually seen a decrease in them since the price of steel has dropped," Hughes said.

"It costs them more in gas than it does to pick up the material."