As Denver-area recycling service haulers are scrambling to decontaminate their materials to meet China’s new restrictions on imported recyclables, the Boulder County Recycling Center has accepted an influx of their excess loads.
Because the Boulder County facility’s technology keeps the mixes of materials it produces desirable amid the market fallout for recycled products made in other parts of the globe, Denver haulers have turned to dropping off the loads they can’t process efficiently there instead of sending them to landfills.
The recycling market crash has been caused by policy changes in China, which imported and processed a bulk of the world’s recyclable materials until recently enacting more stringent contamination level regulations for the loads it accepts from overseas.
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Styrofoam, plastic cups and food take-out containers are among the items that are commonly tossed in recycling bins despite not being actually recyclable, and their frequent inclusion in hauls of plastics Nos. 3, 6 and 7 have contributed to the market fallout for those materials, as China is no longer accepting most of those loads.
In neighboring Larimer County — which in May announced those plastics would be sent to the landfill and confirmed Wednesday that is still the case — the rate of contamination of recyclables collected has nearly doubled over the last two years from seven percent to 13 percent, Larimer solid waste director Stephen Gillette said.
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Source:: The Denver Post – Business