Starting January 1, 2018, China plans to ban imports of 24 varieties of solid waste and recyclables, this includes waste paper and certain plastics, says Garry Penning with Rogue Disposal and Recycling. Garry is the Director of Gov. Affairs & Marketing for Rogue Disposal and was introduced by Mike Jacobson as the guest speaker at the November 14 Rotary meeting.
News of China’s decision is causing concern everywhere, not just southern Oregon. China is focusing on cleaning up its environment, which is a good thing. However, the mills that previously accepted contaminated materials are being shut down, which means new quality standards and a reduction in contamination to .3%. We currently can be around 20% contaminated. Contamination could be as simple as a piece of clothing or a garden hose that is included with recyclable materials.
The price is dropping rapidly to market recyclable materials leaving Rogue Disposal & Recycling with two choices: 1) Raise prices 2) Plastics and mixed paper become trash. At the moment, Rogue Disposal and Recycling is pursuing the option with DEQ to landfill materials that cannot be marketing. This is a short-term solution.