Great article by the Daily News’ Garrett Cabeza on China’s impact on worldwide recycling cutbacks.
Here’s the effect on Moscow:
Certain recycled materials currently allowed in Moscow’s single-stream curbside recycling program may be prohibited soon.
Moscow Sanitation Operations Manager Tim Davis told the Moscow Public Works/Finance Committee on Monday the focus would be to collect higher quality, marketable materials rather than low grade and difficult-to-market materials.
He said city staff is proposing to scale back the acceptable items currently collected in Moscow’s single-stream recycling program by eliminating code 3-7 plastics, all plastic bags, aluminum foil and foil trays, pots and pans, shredded paper and aseptic packaging commonly used for juice and broth.
And here’s what China did to precipitate this.
China is partly responsible for the proposed modifications. For the last several decades, China has served as the end market for roughly half of the world’s recyclables, Davis said.
In July 2017, the Chinese government imposed a new regulation known as “National Sword 2017” and “Blue Sky 2018” which severely restricts the import of low grade and contaminated recyclables.
He said the policy includes a 0.5 percent allowable contamination rate, which is very difficult, if not impossible, to reach.
The new restrictions have caused worldwide impacts to recycling markets.
Davis said the West Coast, where much of Moscow’s recycling is marketed, has been particularly affected because of the reliance on Chinese markets.