Why the world's recycling system has broken down: How China's refusal to become a dumping ground for the West has sent labor costs soaring, left U.S. landfill full of plastic and plunged the industry into crisis



China’s decision to ban imports of recycled material from wealthy countries has brought the American recycling industry to the point of an existential crisis.


Recycling has now become so expensive that more cities in the United States are sending recyclables to waste incinerators, where they are burned along with non-recyclable trash to generate electricity, according to Gizmodo.


In years past, cities would collect recyclables, sort them, and clean them so that they could be sold as commodities to manufacturers.


But when China announced last year that it would stop taking in American recycled materials to combat pollution, the recycling industry could not find a new buyer.


That sent prices of these materials plunging. If mixed paper once sold for $100 a ton, it dropped to about $3 a ton.



译文来源:三泰虎 http://www.santaihu.com/47163.html    译者:Jessica.Wu


stellianoJC, Atlanta, United States, 13 hours ago

Shoot that stuff into space with a trajectory towards the sun. The sun will do the rest....



Unanchored, Florida, United States, 14 hours ago

I wish there were better recycling options here in the US. I would love to see more tires turned into tracks and such and plastics used more than once.



Allaboutmetoo, Charleston, United States, 14 hours ago

Perhaps we can stockpile it as part of the new border wall.


m.i.a, Dallas, United States, 12 hours ago

Good idea! Hardened heated compacted recyclables can make a good barrier and a great way ti solve two current issues. Wall & Recyclables.



dr_ron, grand forks, United States, 15 hours ago

As a kid, all of my candy money came from recycling (returning) glass bottles. Made me learn how to EARN money.


juliehere, Victoria-Florida, United States, 14 hours ago

I did too...ah the thrill of finding a bottle! I remember it well



pattikay3, Thornton-Cleveleys, United Kingdom, 15 hours ago

Yes what a load of plastic is used in bottling liquids. Maybe we should revert back to glass!



Montanagirl, Stevensville, United States, 16 hours ago

It makes me so sad to see people throwing away perfectly useable items just to be dumped in landfills. I drive through my neighborhood on early mornings before the trash truck comes and save many treasures. I have made hundreds of dollars. I also give it away to people who need it. I have found iPods, gift cards, cash, clothes jewelry etc....



The boat guy, United States, United States, 16 hours ago

Time to go back to paper & glass based packaging.


RobertG, Rockville, United States, 16 hours ago

Environmentalist don't like paper because it kills trees a glass is heavier to transport so moving it uses more fuel so more CO2 into the air which again the environmentalist will complain about.



matt, canada, 16 hours ago

It would be better if we could get down to one kind of recyclable plastic for most consumer products. Too many that need to be sorted and separated adding more work and cost to the process.



Atomic Blonde, Vienna, Austria, 16 hours ago

In turkey there are these machines where you put your plastic bottles cups whatever and get paid. Also plastic bags in supermarkets are no longer free you have to pay so less people buy and dump plastic stuff all over. Progress ...



burranka, winterport maine, 17 hours ago

we should just go back to glass bottles and cardboard boxes, get rid of plastic bottles and shrink wrap



nino, London and USA., United States, 17 hours ago

It's just a racket - We still pay for recycling either directly or as taxes and most of it is just going into the landfill!



Mr DP Gumby CBE, South Harmon Institute of Tech, Christmas Island, 17 hours ago

Recover the energy through incineration.



PNWBobsled, Up here, United States, 17 hours ago

Stop buying junky Chinese products, they always end up in landfills much too soon.



joe max, Rochester, United States, 18 hours ago

So recycling is being exposed as another big lie.Burning it is not recycling.......period.



Concerned Citizen 69, Seattle, United States, 17 hours ago

No need to burn it, just bury it.



One whoknows, From the East, United States, 18 hours ago

I got it! Send it to Elon Musk to shoot into deep space.



One whoknows, From the East, United States, 18 hours ago

Glass, at least, can be recycled forever.



RannXeroxx, Grand Rapids, United States, 17 hours ago

Just burn it.



Seriouslytho, Anywherebuthere, United States, 18 hours ago

Where's that plastic eating fungus? It will probably morph into something wild and eat us all.



CastingOff, No City Just Islands, Åland Islands, 18 hours ago

Meanwhile ExxonMobil wants to increase the volume of plastics.



Nod Eal, England, United Kingdom, 18 hours ago

How many years before we discover what damage chemical sweeteners are causing in our oceans?



Pepper Sanchez, Volcan Arenal, Costa Rica, 18 hours ago

Good. Countries should fix their pollution problems at the source. Out of sight, out of mind doesn't work. Garbage gets shipped to China where it gets disposed of improperly and ends up in rivers which flow to the ocean. Eventually it makes its way right back to us.



MericanWoman, Seattle WA, United States, 18 hours ago

It shouldn't be up to the recycling industry alone to try to manage the plastic industry's mess.



Nod Eal, England, United Kingdom, 18 hours ago

No dormant or quiet volcanoes to drop this stuff into?


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