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2013-06-19. China puts up a green wall to US trash.

posted Jun 21, 2013, 8:29 AM by Alan Gould

For GSS Ecosystem Change chapter 7. Excerpt: Have you ever wondered what happens to the soda can that you toss into a recycling bin? Chances are high that it ends up in China – like 75 percent of the aluminum scrap that the United States exports. Or 60 percent of its scrap paper exports. Or 50 percent of its plastic. But a new Chinese edict, banning "foreign rubbish," has thrown the international scrap and waste trade into turmoil and is posing a major new challenge for US recyclers. ...Chinese recyclers "have got used to expecting 20 percent trash" in the bales of mixed plastics they buy from the US, .... That trash has to be sorted from the recyclables, then buried or burned, further degrading China's environment. ...The international trade has boomed partly because the US cannot dispose of all the waste it generates; .... "If the US border were closed, most of the scrap that is exported today would go to landfill," says Robin Wiener, president of ISRI. "We don't have the capacity to absorb it all." ..."We used to send garbage because it was the cheapest thing to do and because the Chinese would accept it," Mr. Powell explains. The new Chinese policy, he says, will force US recyclers either to sort recyclables more carefully, or to recycle more material in the US, or both.....  http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-Pacific/2013/0619/China-puts-up-a-green-wall-to-US-trash. Peter Ford, Christian Science Monitor.