Workers sort recyclables at Republic Services in Anaheim, CA, on Friday, May 17, 2019. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)

We put our recyclers in the bin in the expectations that they will get recycled but what if the recyclers are not getting recycled and are just lying in the landfills. Yes, the same is happening in California state as they continue to fill their bins for years. The trash bills are increasing and the whole recycling market is rolling around and round as the recycling cost has increased. Bob Asgian, assistant department head of Los Angeles County’s recycling and landfill operations said, “We used to pay haulers for recyclables. Now, they’re paying us (to take them).”

China who is the biggest importers of recyclables is the epicenter of the recycling trend. China is coming up with a new plan to set the mark in the recycling industry and the foundation was already made back in 2017 when China launched the National Sword initiative. China has decided that they will only accept plastics and papers. The country announced that they will stop taking all the waste imports from Jan 1. As a result, countries like the US is now stuck with the recyclers that no country wants.

California was on the peak when they had 50% of diversion rate in the year 2013 and 2014 but it dropped down to 42% as per the information collected from CalRecycle which is the state’s recycling agency. Now the target on which the recycling industry is going to work is 75% by 2020.

Nick Lapis of Californians Against Waste said in a statement, “It’s a problem and it’s a bit of an opportunity, If we create markets domestically, there are job opportunities and environmental opportunities. A lot that we were sending overseas wasn’t recyclable and wasn’t being handled in the most environmental way anyway, so recycling has been artificially inexpensive.” Dan Jacobson, a Sacramento lobbyist for Environment California, said, “We’re producing too much single-use trash, We’re using it for minutes, literally, and then throwing it out. And we’re running out of places to put it.”



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