For decades, the US has exported one third of its recyclables. So half of those recycleables has been going to China.
Companies have relied on buyers in China to purchase the low-quality, contaminated recyclables that American manufacturers didn’t want.
But after a few years of warning, China has instituted a ban on foreign waste. For it’s now known as the “National Sword.” This policy bans 24 types of imported scrap materials. So it has set a 0.5% contamination limit on bales of recyclables. An estimated 94% of Americans think recycling is valuable. So what can we do to help reinvigorate the $105 billion industry? You know one that employs more than half a million workers in the US?
Porter can explain the upheaval. Also and discuss what Americans can do to support the industry. A market of recyclables is amazing. It’s one that provides so many American communities with jobs. Again and outline a variety of ways we can take action starting today. As individuals, we can:
- Let our local officials know that recycling is valued by the community.
- Raise attention to these concerns on social media and other communication platforms.
- Help improve the supply of recyclables by following local recycling rules (check your town’s website to search by material and zip code).
- Make sure your recyclables are clean (no food and beverage residue), empty, and dry.
- Intentionally purchase products made with recycled content to displace the need for virgin material. We need to reduce consumption and reuse as often as we can. Recycle is the last of the three Rs for a reason.
Managing municipal solid waste is a key task for municipalities, organizations and businesses, and households given the hundreds of millions of tons of waste we generate in the United States each year through our consumptive activities.
Managing waste is expensive in terms of time, money, and environmental impacts.
Garbage collection and disposal programs cost the City of Hancock about $27,409 a month, including $7,200 each month in landfill disposal fees which are allocated on a per tonnage basis. This means that the more garbage produced that needs to go to the landfill, the greater the cost to the city and residents. Garbage collection and disposal costs the City of Houghton about $12,401 per month, including about $5,700 in tipping fees for disposal.
The best way to reduce all of these impacts is to reduce the amount of waste we generate. That’s through source reduction programs. I mean such as less packaging, designing smarter and smaller products. All that require fewer resources, using re-usable items rather than disposable ones. Finally and reducing consumption.