Trash piles up in US as China closes door to recycling | 2018-07-13 | daily-sun.com

Trash piles up in US as China closes door to recycling

    13 July, 2018 12:00 AM printer

Trash piles up in US as China closes door to recycling

WASHINGTON: For months, a major recycling facility for the greater Baltimore-Washington area has been facing a big problem: it has to pay to get rid of huge amounts of paper and plastic it would normally sell to China, reports AFP. 

Beijing is no longer buying, claiming the recycled materials are “contaminated.” For sure, the 900 tons of trash dumped at all hours of the day and night, five days a week, on the conveyor belts at the plant in Elkridge, Maryland—an hour’s drive from the US capital—are not clean.  

Amid the nerve-shattering din and clouds of brown dust, dozens of workers in gloves and masks—most of them women—nimbly pluck a diverse array of objects from the piles that could count as “contaminants.”

That could be anything from clothes to cables to tree branches to the bane of all recyclers: plastic bags, which are not supposed to go in recycling bins because they snarl up the machinery.

“We’ve had to slow our machinery, and hire more people” to clean up the waste, says Michael Taylor, the head of recycling operations for Waste Management, the company that runs the plant.


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