Timeline: How China has reshaped US recycling
China's July 18, 2017 WTO filing that banned dozens of scrap categories has upended recycling economics around the world, especially in the U.S. The subsequent tightening of contamination standards for what the country still will accept has added further pressure to the industry.
Over the past year, Waste Dive has covered this from many angles with dozens of stories throughout the scrap supply chain. From local governments big and small to state and federal agencies to the industry's largest recycling companies and the many parties in between, we're constantly seeking new perspectives. We also continue to update our 50 state market effects tracker on a weekly basis.
As we begin to think more broadly about what the future of recycling will look like, it's also important to remember how we got here. In the months ahead, we'll continue to update this page with our top stories on the China shift, valuable coverage from others and links to external industry resources. If you have information that would be a good fit for this — or our state tracker page — we welcome emails at [email protected]
Early reactions from industry associations about where material would go next and what it might take to expand U.S. processing infrastructure.
A podcast dispatch from the 2017 Resource Recycling conference in Minneapolis with multiple MRF operators and industry figures about how they were adapting so far.
Trade analysts and industry figures react to troubling signs for the one commodity many recyclers were still counting on.
CEO Keefe Harrison emphasizes an optimistic outlook and discusses next steps for recycling policy.
In honor of America Recycles Day, Waste Dive launches the 50 state page with a companion feature highlighting market conditions around the country.
Waste Dive is among the first to report on China's finalization of tight new contamination specifications.
China's outsized effects on the U.S. industry are recognized with a 2017 Dive Award.
A report from the Denver conference about how officials from the EPA and local governments viewed the policy effects to date.
An in-depth interview with the head of America's biggest recycling operation on the market's shifting economic and labor realities.
Early reactions one month into the enforcement of China's 0.5% contamination standard.
The leading scrap association offers more historical and economic context about what led China to this point.
The list grows longer as China makes good on a promise to eventually move away from all scrap imports by 2020.
A Waste Expo interview with the Waste Management CEO, including how his latest earnings call got dominated by recycling questions.
A Waste Expo interview with the head of America's second-largest recycling operation on changing the economic equation.
Three key Southeast Asian export markets take steps to either pause, or limit, the amount of scrap they're receiving after China limits its intake.
Waste Dive marks the anniversary of China's WTO announcement with multiple stories about what it has meant for commodity supply chains, infrastructure investment and the broader national recycling dialogue.
The Southeast Asian countries report a backlog of scrap and pollution concerns following China's import bans and enact new restrictions.
Retaliatory 25% tariffs hit multiple scrap categories for the first time and lead many to speculate if this will create a de facto ban prior to 2020.
A round-up of highlights from WASTECON 2018 in Nashville, including the first-ever MRF Summit.
A keynote session during the Paper & Plastics Recycling Conference examines what effects China's regulations are having and what comes next for new market developments.
Other Key Coverage
- From Green Fence to red alert - A China timeline — Resource Recycling
- China's Changing Import Regulations – What Does It All Mean? — Waste 360
- The perplexing pace of policy changes — Recycling Today
- Your Recycling Gets Recycled, Right? Maybe, or Maybe Not — The New York Times
- Recycling, Once Embraced by Businesses and Environmentalists, Now Under Siege — The Wall Street Journal
- America Doesn't Know Where to Send Its Recyclables Anymore — Vice News
- So Where Should We Put Our Recycling? — Bloomberg
- As China gets tough on recycling, will America get cleaner? — PRI
- The Dirty Truth Is Your Recycling May Actually Go To Landfills — HuffPost
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