Adam Allington, BLOOMBERG NEWS
Tens of thousands of tons of recyclables have been diverted to U.S. landfills in recent months as the reality of China’s new ban on certain types of imported waste takes hold.
The ban, which went into effect Jan. 1, covers imports of 24 types of solid waste, including unsorted paper and the difficult-to-recycle types of plastic, including polyethylene terephthalate (PET), commonly used in plastic bottles.
And China’s import restrictions become even tighter March 1, increasing the sense of urgency U.S. recyclers feel to find new outlets for their products. At the same time, some industry officials say the situation could be a blessing in disguise if it eventually prods the U.S. toward processing more of its own recycling.
“What we’re seeing now is really unprecedented,” said Julie Miller, a spokeswoman for the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).
China has been by far the largest market for U.S scrap exports—in many cases the recyclable materials Americans put in curbside containers. China’s crackdown, now three months old, has both U.S. and global waste collectors scrambling to find new markets for their recyclables to avoid disrupting curbside collection services.
Read more at https://www.bna.com/us-recycling-woes-n57982089254/