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‘Wakeup Call’: East Valley losing thousands in recycling revenue

Posted by   /  May 14, 2018  /  No Comments

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Recycling operations have been increasingly profitable for East Valley municipalities but the gravy train has been derailed by the Republic of China’s new policy of refusing to take American recyclables because they’re too contaminated, making them ill-suited for re-use in other products. / Kimberly Carrillo/ Tribune Staff Photographer

By Rick Barrs | East Valley Tribune

Described as a “wakeup call” to the United States, the Republic of China’s decision to cease serving as a garbage dump for the world has crippled East Valley municipal recycling businesses, costing municipalities hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The impact is dramatic: Last year, Chandler earned over a half-million dollars for selling its recyclables. This year, the Chinese action will cost the city nearly twice that instead to get rid of them.

Declared “National Sword” by Chinese President Xi Jinping, China’s drastic change to its recycling policy is aimed at stopping the flow of “foreign garbage” into the country.

Under the new edict, China will accept only recyclable bales with contaminant levels of 0.5 percent or better – a standard that American cities never come close to achieving.

The national average for U.S. recyclables contaminants is 25 percent – and the East Valley levels are no different.


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