24 Oct

why did china stop taking recycling

Midcoast Maine’s top stories to your inbox. Overall, China has shipped 7 million tons from around the world into the country. Since 2010, Franklin has offered curbside recycling and encouraged residents to put paper, metal, and plastic in their green bins. But in July, China — also the world's biggest manufacturer — decided it would no longer take what it called foreign garbage. Please contact the developer of this form processor to improve this message. In 2016, half of the world’s plastic waste meant for disposal had been sold globally. Amazon has tried to reduce waste by sending products in white and blue plastic envelopes, but when I visited the Recology plant, they littered the floor because they’re very hard to recycle. Here are 10 ways to make 2020 your most sustainable year yet. China wanted scrap paper and plastic to recycle into more products, and Yin seized the market. “Reducing the amount of waste we generate in the first place is the most important thing we can do,” says Lance Klug, information officer for California’s Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery. Resident Duncan Gillies takes his recyclables to the transfer station at least once month. And that’s not turning around in the next few weeks.”, The U.S. and Europe, where many cities have longstanding recycling collection programs, have been especially hard-hit. But for now, it is piling the bales behind the facility where it collects plastic.

While most continue to operate, rising costs and falling incomes are forcing some, like Kingsport, Tennessee to shut down. "+document.location.host.replace(/^\w+\./, '')+"; path=/; expires=" + date.toGMTString();

But its paper broker said the mixed paper needed to be 99 percent clean for anyone to buy it, and elected officials didn’t want to hike fees to get there. Evans said most people expected the current ban to be similar. “We are doing our best to be environmentally responsible, but we can’t afford it,” said Judie Milner, the city manager of Franklin, New Hampshire. "The global changes to the recycling market mean that the waste industry and community recycling industry need to continue to look for new markets with integrity to sell recyclable product." There, they were turned into forms to be repurposed by plastic manufacturers. The city passed an ordinance that required that 10 percent of beverages sold be available in reusable containers, and it is trying to make reuse “hip” through an online campaign and dedicated website, Raphael said.

Most larger cities — such as New York, San Francisco, and Portland, Oregon — have been able to either find alternative markets or improve and expand their municipal operations to process higher-quality and more marketable materials. Roughly, Smart Environmental had between 3000 and 4000 tonnes of recycling stockpiled at plants around the country. Such fly-by-night recyclers discarded products that could not be recovered, creating waste on landfills and soil. That’s no longer an option. A stockpile of recycling has been sitting at Huntly MetroWaste for about 12 months. Starting in January, China’s government is enacting a plastic waste import ban, in an attempt to cut down on millions of tons of plastic and other recyclables they receive every year. "China was effectively being used as a dumping ground.". In the U.S., small town and rural recycling operations have been hit the hardest. Airports, malls, schools, and office buildings across the country have bins for plastic bottles and aluminum cans and newspapers. "China was effectively being used as a dumping ground." Starting in January, China’s government is enacting a plastic waste import ban, in an attempt to cut down on millions of tons of plastic and other recyclables they receive every year. Milner hates knowing that Franklin is releasing toxins into the environment, but there’s not much she can do. date.setHours(date.getHours() - 1); The "big clamp down" happened because the world was sending non-recyclable waste to China, Gibson said. It was working with councils and waste management companies and could continue to support the development of recycling facilities through the Waste Minimisation Fund.

“This is our big challenge: How do you take a culture like San Francisco and get people excited about less?” Debbie Raphael, the director of the San Francisco Department of the Environment, told me. Many of those countries were quickly overwhelmed by the volume and have also now cut back on imports. But that’s a hard sell in the United States, where consumer spending accounts for 68 percent of the GDP. The Raglan Resource Recovery Centre, run by the community enterprise Xtreme Zero Waste, also has about five tonnes of plastic stockpiled at the moment. While there, Reed handed me a pair of small orange earplugs meant to protect my ears from the noise of the plant. 2. They can always acquire more storage space at a cost.". Lezoria is an Environmental blog. The new European data protection law requires us to inform you of the following before you use our website: We use cookies and other technologies to customize your experience, perform analytics and deliver personalized advertising on our sites, apps and newsletters and across the Internet based on your interests. Even before China’s ban, only 9 percent of discarded plastics were being recycled, while 12 percent were burned. Glass is very heavy (currently more than 11% of our current single stream recycling efforts, by weight), but it is actually not being recycled at all by our recycling processor. Now, Milner told me, the transfer station is charging the town $125 a ton to recycle, or $68 a ton to incinerate. "use strict"; “The plastic is now getting diverted to countries with a high risk of improper management and high leakage rates,” says Roland Geyer, an industrial ecology professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara’s Bren School of Environmental Science and Management and lead author of a recent study on the ultimate fate of disposed plastics. var now = new Date(); There are stockpiles throughout New Zealand due to China restricting imports of waste products, Waikato District Council Service Delivery general manager Ian Cathcart says. Submit questions to The Recycle Bin to [email protected].

Read more. The displaced European plastic was mostly diverted to Indonesia, Turkey, India, Malaysia, and Vietnam, Waibel says.

This content is currently not available in your region. In 2018, China set stricter standards to recycling imports … Since they’ve been relying on China’s open arms for so long, they haven’t spent enough in mills to handle all the paper scraps in the U.S. "They drive around with a front-end loader, sticking the plastic through a sorting machine, but the mountain never seems to get any smaller. “But that’s no longer the case and it’s probably never going to be the case again.”, Cheryl Katz is an independent science writer covering climate change, energy, earth sciences, and environmental health. Her articles have appeared in Scientific American, National Geographic, and Hakai Magazine, among other publications. But last year, the country restricted imports of certain recyclables, including mixed paper—magazines, office paper, junk mail—and most plastics. Without a market for mixed paper, bales of the stuff started to pile up in Blaine County, Idaho; the county eventually stopped collecting it and took the 35 bales it had hoped to recycle to a landfill.

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