Trade decisions made in China are affecting recycling efforts in Texarkana, reducing residents’ options and prompting the waste industry to ask for help keeping costs down.
China—the world’s No. 1 importer of recyclables—no longer accepts certain materials and has begun holding what it does buy to an extraordinary quality standard. The resulting market disruption has caused the city of Texarkana, Ark., to stop everyday collection of recyclable plastics and added urgency to local “recycle right” education campaigns.
“All of a sudden, the place where a third of our recyclables goes is saying, ‘We don’t want it anymore,'” said David Biderman, CEO of Maryland-based lobby the Solid Waste Association of North America.