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Need to Know

Global Market Changes Mean Higher Recycling Costs

Vermont’s Chittenden Solid Waste District urges residents to get better at reducing how much waste they generate amid global upheavals.

Disruptions in the global markets—particularly China’s import ban and now the recent tariffs China is enacting on North America—have created some headwinds for U.S. solid waste and recycling companies. And those disruptions will end up trickling down to residents’ pocketbooks.

Chittenden County, Vt., is currently feeling the impacts of global upheaval, and the Chittenden Solid Waste District is urging residents to be more aware of what belongs in a recycling bin and what does not. It also noted that residents need to get better at reducing how much waste they generate.

This need for education with a focus on waste reduction has gotten even more acute recently, a district spokesperson said.  

NEPR has more:

Upheavals in global markets will soon be felt in Vermonters’ pocketbooks. The international market for some recyclable material has crashed, and that has forced some municipalities and solid waste companies to start charging for recycling.

Much of the recyclable material in Chittenden County ends up at a building in Williston that houses a “materials recovery facility ” — or MRF. Conveyer belts move tons of paper, cans and bottles, while workers quickly sort through trash that should not have ended up in the recycling bin.

Michele Morris, director of outreach and communications at the Chittenden Solid Waste District, explains that even small amounts of trash – like a plastic grocery bag – in a bunch of mixed paper can gum up the machinery or contaminate the product with stuff a paper buyer doesn’t want. Other material that people think can be recycled is just plain dangerous.

Read the full article here.

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