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China doesn’t want your recycling anymore. Here’s what that means for you.

March 16, 2018

The Raleigh News & Observer has posted an article about the effects of China's National Sword program on local recycling programs in America:

China doesn’t want your recycling anymore. Here’s what that means for you.

The world’s largest buyer of recycled materials declared last summer that it would no longer import mixed paper and many types of plastic starting Jan. 1. In some parts of the U.S., bales of unwanted plastics and paper are stacking up in warehouses and in some cases going into landfills.

North Carolina is also feeling the effects of China’s new aversion to what it calls “foreign garbage.” While companies in the Southeast that reprocess recyclables and turn them into new products are still buying, China’s policies have created a glut of materials that has depressed prices everywhere, including the Triangle. Residential mixed paper that was worth between $85 and $100 a ton a year ago was earning about $37 a ton this winter, said Rob Taylor, who until last month headed the recycling program at the state Department of Environmental Quality.

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