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Need to Know

Recycling Facilities Fight Contamination in the Face of New Import Policies

The Waste Management sorting facility in Denver is focusing more on purity levels.

With China’s National Sword policy increasing the standard for contamination in plastic waste imports, recycling facilities across the country are working to clean up their end products or find new buyers. Such a task is more difficult than it may seem, however.

About 20 percent of the material that comes to the Waste Management recycling sorting facility in Denver is trash. Now, the sorting process is all the more important.

Aspen Public Radio has more information:

When you head up recycling for a major national company like Waste Management, you see some strange things.

“Some type of artillery, or a hand grenade," said Brent Bell, vice president for recycling at Waste Management. "I mean there’s just some crazy stuff that people put in their recycling containers.”

The craziest thing Bell has seen on a conveyor belt at a sorting facility wasn’t explosive.

“It was a six foot shark,” he said.

Read the full story here.

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