MassINC’s Commonwealth magazine recently published an article titled “China says your recyclables don’t measure up“. It described the new restrictions on recyclables shipped to China that are roiling recycling markets in the United States. Needham is, as we often are, ahead of the curve on this issue.
At Green Needham’s November 29th “Toward Zero Waste” event, the DEP’s Greg Cooper – who is also quoted in the Commonwealth article – provided context for China’s stricter policies, noting that this has happened before. Its significance is in putting US providers of recyclable materials on notice to improve the quality of materials they send to China. In the past, China has, after a period, eased announced restrictions to make them more achievable, since the recycling trade is good business for both sides. But even if that happens in this case, we in Needham still need to improve the quality of the materials we put into our recycling if we want to continue to receive the financial and environmental benefits of recycling.
At our March 5th “Recycling Quality versus Quantity” forum, we will roll up our sleeves for a working discussion of what Needham can do. Please join us!