I just toured a huge recycling facility for work, and they were loading flattened 2-liter soda bottles into shipping containers. I asked where they were headed. "China" was the answer. All those container ships head west full of recycling, including metals.
I used to work in the industrial battery business, and when China's economy heated up the price of lead went up pretty quickly, and stayed high. I did a lot of my monthly income in scrap batteries, 45,000 lbs at a time@ 6.5 cents a pound. Buying scrap lead at inflated prices is often way cheaper than starting a new mine somewhere.