Skip to comments.Recycling Rethink: What to Do With Trash Now China Won’t Take It
Posted on 12/19/2019 10:06:42 AM PST by karpov
For decades, America and much of the developed world threw their used plastic bottles, soda cans and junk mail in one bin. The trash industry then shipped much of that thousands of miles to China, the worlds biggest consumer of scrap material, to be sorted and turned into new products.
That changed last year when China banned imports of mixed paper and plastic and heavily restricted other scrap. Beijing said it wants to stimulate domestic garbage collection and end the flow of foreign trash it sees as an environmental and health hazard. Since then, India, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesiaother popular markets for the Wests trashhave implemented their own restrictions.
The moves have caused a seismic shift in how the world deals with its waste. Long used to shipping off trash to poorer countries to sort and process, nations are now faced with the question of what recycling is worth to them. They are undertaking new investments in domestic processing, ramping up alternative strategies such as incineration and rolling out education campaigns to teach homeowners to sort trash. Others are dropping programs altogether.
Recycling is something thats ingrained in you, and one day it suddenly all goes away, said Kyle OBrien, the town manager of Broadway, Va. The town had offered curbside recycling for two decades but canceled the service last year after Beijing started turning away the worlds recyclables. The company that processed the materials, van der Linde Recycling, closed its household waste processing facility, blaming the severe drop in prices.
For years, the worlds bottles and boxes made their way to China on ships that offered deep discounts to avoid returning empty after dropping off cargo in the U.S. and other countries. Since 1992, China has imported 45% of the worlds plastic waste
(Excerpt) Read more at wsj.com ...
My trash is in three types:
Food waste - Compost it
Non-burnable, non food - (Metal) take to my downtown office and drop in the street trash bin (I pay Louisville income tax even though I don’t live there, so this is what I get for my tax dollars)
Everything else - burn it.
Able bodied people receiving welfare, trash that needs to be sorted, hmmmmm.
I live in Island County Washington. We still have a site that accepts cardboard, plastics, etc. but the employees there admit that it is just put in a landfill. I asked them why pretend to recycle it? Thay said it makes people feel good.
1) Food waste - Compost it
This necessarily gives off CO2 contributing to global warning. Therefore WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!
2) Non-burnable, non food - (Metal) take to my downtown office and drop in the street trash bin.
Melting the metal down uses electricity or fossil fuels. This also necessarily gives off CO2 contributing to global warning. Therefore WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!
3) Everything else - burn it.
On this one clearly WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!
We’ve been separating garbage for 15 years. One day I spoke to the manager of the trash company about not being able to separate for a week or two.
He said, it doesn’t matter - it all gets burned anyway.
Shoot trash into outer space!
Earlier this year I read more than 1 article that recycling is basically a failure and not worth the effort. Iff you have stock in companies that make various color coded trash cans, you may want to divest.
We’ve had a mandatory recycling program where I live since the mid-1990’s.
Apparently none of that stuff was being recycled. It was being dumped someplace in China, and the Chinese (quite correctly) have decided they have enough of their own garbage to deal with without taking huge amounts from foreigners.
What I want to know is who was benefiting from the scam for 20+ years?
Sigh. And I just bought a recycling bin.
Years ago I was managing a business. We collected motor oil for recycling. Customers had to bring it in, log it, and pour it into the collection tank.
One idiot apparently did not bother to read the rules so he just dropped off a 30 gallon drum of waste oil on the property. The drum had a label indicating that it had previously contained Freon.
Our property immediately became an EPA Hazardous Waste Site. We were forbidden to move the barrel. We had to apply for a bunch of permits and find a licensed hauler who was approved for transporting hazardous waste. The barrel sat on our property for weeks while this all took place, and the final cost was many thousands of dollars.
Finally the permits were approved and the waste hauler arrived to take the drum. I asked him what they were going to do with it. Quote:
“We take this stuff up to Detroit, dump it in an incinerator and burn it!”
It would be better of in a landfill...if not recycled here..
The real shame are all of the things that can be fixed or repurposed that just goes into the landfill.
I learn a lot seeing the estate sales of depression-era people and how they squeezed the daylights out of everything they buy. Even repairing 45 year old vacuums and blenders up until they die.
If it can work again, then make it work again!
We’ve been doing this for years. We keep our trash placed in public trash cans (Walmart, gas stations, shopping malls etc) down to the size of a Walmart plastic bag and no one ever gives us a second look.
And like you, food waste goes directly to the garden to be tilled under (our way of composting) and everything else we burn.
That’s a good story.
when the Common Sense Movement takes hold in 2027, you’ll be able to use it for all trash.
1. Dig a Hole.
Do I really have to explain #2?
California gov’t are backing off curb-side blue bin recycling as it has become too costly. One city (Visalia) put out a contract to collect their 30,000 blue trash bins. I hear they had few takers.
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