China’s Recycling Policy – What it Means to You

You may have read about China’s “Green Fence” and “National Sword” policies, which restrict the importation of certain recyclables and will greatly reduce the amount of non-recyclable material (contaminants) they will accept.

China’s import restrictions have officially taken effect, with new contamination standards coming into full enforcement in March and the potential for further bans in the future.  It has become increasingly clear that this will remain a dominant story in 2018.  And, Waste Management must greatly enhance our efforts with all our customers to reduce the amount of contaminants in the recyclable material we collect.

One crucial component to achieving our goals is education. We need to re-educate our customers on what materials to place in containers and what materials are prohibited – especially plastic bags and other plastic film, e.g. plastic wrap around cases of water or other beverages, plastic wrap on paper towels and toilet paper, plastic retail and grocery bags. The only acceptable materials in a recycling container are: Plastic Bottles and Containers; Tin and Aluminum Cans; Beverage Cartons (in most areas) Paper; Cardboard; and Glass Bottles.

Our Salespeople will be armed with material on proper recycling and will work with new and existing customers to manage their programs. And, our Customer Service Reps will be prepared to respond to any customer concerns and provide additional material on proper recycling procedures.

What this means to you:

• You may experience service disruption to your recycling service should there be bagged recyclables or other contaminants in your container. In this event, you will have a chance to remove the contaminants so we can come back and service you.

• If we find contamination in your recycling material after it arrives at one of our recycling facilities, you may be responsible for additional costs associated with the separation of and proper disposal of the trash and recycling materials.

Waste Management is committed to recycling. We have invested millions of dollars and continue to invest but need our customers’ assistance to strengthen the recycling industry for a viable future. We appreciate your business, and are seeking to ensure the sustainability of our recycling efforts by eliminating contamination before it gets to any recycling facility. Thank you in advance for your assistance with improving the quality of material collected for recycling.

Should you have any questions regarding your recycling service, please feel free to call us at 800 972 4545.