China’s recycling ban is affecting recycling globally and locally. Learn how.

Customer Notice on Recycling

We are a year and a half into China’s National Sword (mixed paper and plastics ban effective 1/1/2018) and a half year away from China’s goal to ban all recyclable imports (by 2020). Other southeast Asian countries that had opened to receiving these imports quickly followed the policies China enacted. This has led to a global shift in where and how materials tossed in the recycling bin are processed. Additionally, the threshold of prohibitive material allowed in your recycling has dramatically decreased. Our success at continuing to meet all recycling product specifications largely depends on the quality of the inbound material we receive from you. Just follow these 3 simple rules:

1. Recycle all empty bottles, cans, cardboard, and paper.
2. Keep food and liquid out of recycling.
3. Keep plastic bags, bagged recyclables, plastic film, and medical waste out of recycling.

What do these changes mean for you?

● You will experience service disruption to your recycling service should there be bagged recyclables or other contaminants in your container. In this event, we will not service your recycling and will schedule an MSW truck to come back and service as trash. Additional charges will apply.
● If we find contamination in your recycling material after it arrives at one of our recycling
facilities, you will be responsible for additional costs associated with the separation of and
proper disposal of the trash and recycling materials.

What can you do?

● Do not throw plastic liner bags filled with recyclables into your recycling containers. Empty the
recycling contents into your container only, and throw the plastic liner bags into your trash.
● Check out our Most Common Contaminants List and educate everyone in your place of business on items that do not belong in single stream recycling containers.
● Visit to see the wealth of recycling educational materials Waste Management makes
available for you.
● Consider discontinuing the use of plastic liners in your recycling bins.

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 inbound quality of the material you collect, and we receive. Should you have any questions regarding your recycling service, please feel free to call us at 1-800-972-4545.