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Need to Know

SWANA Available to Discuss Recycling Program Changes

Recycling information
SWANA announced it is available to help the media understand how China’s import restrictions are impacting local recycling efforts in both the U.S. and Canada.

The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) is recognized as a leading subject matter expert concerning the current challenges and opportunities that local governments and their private sector partners in both the United States and Canada face in connection with recycling.

SWANA filed comments with the World Trade Organization in 2017 and has been communicating regularly with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other federal agencies, state agencies, local governments, the private sector waste and recycling industry and other recycling stakeholders about this evolving situation.

SWANA hosted a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) Summit in August 2018, and SWANA Executive Director and CEO David Biderman recently spoke at the National Association of Counties (NACO) and National League of Cities (NLC) conferences in Washington, D.C., concerning the current challenges and opportunities associated with recycling.

Biderman and SWANA Advocacy and Safety Manager Jesse Maxwell are available to answer questions from the media concerning this issue, which has received widespread attention in the national and local media over the past few months. With Earth Day less than a month away, SWANA expects many reporters are or will be working on stories concerning sustainability, and it anticipates that waste and recycling issues may be part of those articles.

“SWANA disagrees with assertions that recycling is ‘collapsing’ or that there is a ‘crisis,’” said Biderman in a statement. “In thousands of communities throughout the United States and Canada, recyclables continue to be processed on a daily basis and thousands of bales of paper, metal and plastic are generated that are sent to domestic and foreign buyers. Contamination is a challenge, and SWANA, the recycling industry, local governments, consumer goods manufacturers and others are working together to address this issue.”

SWANA has taken numerous steps to respond to the disruption caused by waste import restrictions including advocacy on Capitol Hill for recycling-related funding, consulting with associations and other organizations that support recycling and developing a China Waste Import Restrictions webpage of resources.

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