Some Inconvenient Truths About Recycling
It has become an article of faith in the U.S. that recycling is a good thing. But evidence is piling up that recycling is a waste of time and money, and a bit of a fraud.
One big reason: China has essentially shut the door to U.S. recyclables.
The Times notes that about a third of recyclables gets shipped abroad, with China the biggest importer. But starting this year, China imposed strict rules on what it will accept, effectively banning most of it. That, the Times reports, has forced many recycling companies who can’t find other takers to dump recyclables into landfills.
One company, Oregon’s Rogue Disposal and Recycling, sent “all its recycling to landfills for the first few months of the year,” the Times reports.
Bloomberg says Massachusetts has issued dozens of landfill waivers so recyclable material can be dumped in them. The Florida Sun Sentinel reports that in Broward County, Fla., up to 30% of the stuff residents put in recycling bins ends up in landfills.