Earlier this year, the American recycling community was stunned by a knockout punch from the Far East as new rulings from China turned a once profitable relationship upside down. In January 2018, Beijing stated that it was banning intake of most paper and plastic waste in accordance with a new environmental policy designed to free China from being the world’s “dumping ground.” The ban extends to other materials as well, and American recyclers are now scrambling to find a way to dispose of tons of material that normally would be enroute to Asia.
Over the last year, staff from Resource Recycling Magazine created a chronological rundown of import policy action across Asia to help stakeholders get a firm grasp on the Chinese import policies that are reshaping materials recovery around the planet.
An end-of-year report from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality shows the state’s recycling rate in 2017 was 42.8 percent, slightly better than the previous year.
Doubling of the bottle deposit to 10 cents was a booster for Oregon’s recycling race. But recycling had setbacks too, including the closure of local paper mills that bought recycled paper and China deciding to cut off recycling imports from the United States.
Glass and paper recycling ticked up, while plastic, electronic and organic waste recycling declined between 2016 and 2017.
There has been much interest among paper industry stakeholders about how China’s recovered paper import policy might affect the recovered fiber supply chain.
Flexible packaging isn’t going away anytime soon, and an upcoming pilot project seeks to ensure it doesn’t go to landfill.
In the coming months, additional sorting equipment will be installed at the Total Recycle materials recovery facility (MRF) in Birdsboro, Pa. The retrofit will allow the facility to begin generating bales of post-consumer flexible packaging, defined as single-layer or multi-material films such as chip bags, stand-up pouches, candy wrappers, retail bags and more.
Metro offers a look into the recycling pipeline, from cart to commodity, complete with behind the scenes videos of are MRF processing lines. Great article to share and show what it takes to get those recyclables to market and beyond.
Last year, Oregon's 5-cent bottle deposit went up to 10 cents, and the number of bottles being redeemed has skyrocketed.
From July through September of this year, the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative says 500 million cans and bottles were turned in around the state.
But many of those came from across state lines, mainly Washington.