February 24, 2019

Cities burning recyclables due to China ban

Portside -The conscientious citizens of Philadelphia continue to put their pizza boxes, plastic bottles, yoghurt containers and other items into recycling bins.

But in the past three months, half of these recyclables have been loaded on to trucks, taken to a hulking incineration facility and burned, according to the city’s government.

It’s a situation being replicated across the US as cities struggle to adapt to a recent ban by China on the import of items intended for reuse.

The loss of this overseas dumping ground means that plastics, paper and glass set aside for recycling by Americans is being stuffed into domestic landfills or is simply burned in vast volumes. This new reality risks an increase of plumes of toxic pollution that threaten the largely black and Latino communities who live near heavy industry and dumping sites in the US.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And none of the politicians think of starting local cottage industries to prep the recyclable trash, and mandate the use of recycled raw material in manufacture.

How many people --retirees, stay-at-home moms, the people whom Capitalism won't employ because of medical issues, those between jobs-- would be happy to do recycling-breakdown as piecework, or for minimum wage? More than enough, I bet.