Recycling at ‘Risk’: China’s New Rules Put Programs in U.S. In Jeopardy

By Katey Rusch, Q13 Fox
Jul 19, 2018 1:10 PM ET

Originally posted on

SEATTLE -- Companies that collect your bottles and boxes say recycling programs as we know it are at risk. It’s because of the so-called ‘China Sword,’ the country’s ban on several types of recyclables. The ‘sword’ has paper and plastic piling up across the country, including Washington state.

How can one country’s restrictions have such an impact on the national market? Its size.

“The majority of recovered materials, recycled materials for the better part of two decades was exported to China,” said Pete Keller, the vice president of Recycling and Customer Solutions at Republic Services, one of the country’s largest solid waste companies.

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