Global Recycling Market Crisis Hits Home

As members of the Rogue Valley community, local solid waste service providers Rogue Disposal & Recycling, Southern Oregon Sanitation, and Recology believe it is important to share information regarding drastic changes that have recently occurred in the global recycling markets. These changes are now creating a potential crisis, in terms of impacts to the recycling industry on the West Coast in particular. These proposed market changes could potentially affect the ability to continue to recycle items our communities have long been accustomed to recycling.

Click here for a recently released Fact Sheet on China’s proposed recyclables import ban. The Fact Sheet, drafted by the Oregon Refuse & Recycling Association (ORRA), summarizes the reasons for China’s threat to ban the import of recyclable materials. The Fact Sheet also explains how this will likely impact our access to recycling markets, and our ability to recycle items commonly accepted in the curbside programs in cities throughout our state.

This is a global and national issue, though the negative effects will be felt at a very local level. At this point, there is no excess capacity or demand for recyclable materials in US domestic markets to absorb the materials that China will no longer accept. Consequently, there is not enough storage or processing capacity of recyclable materials that are collected from households and businesses in our local curbside programs. In the short term, if markets disappear and we run out of storage and processing capacity, we may be forced to dispose of some recyclable materials while we continue to seek long term market solutions.

What can we all do to help during this crisis?

  1. What is acceptable in the curbside programs may change over time, and we will keep you informed as changes are being considered and implemented. So, for now what is most helpful is that you practice proper recycling habits by following the list of acceptable recyclables to eliminate contamination (non-recyclable material) completely. Contact your local solid waste collection company or visit their websites for recycling guidelines regarding what is and is not acceptable in your curbside collection program.
  2. Contact your local hauler or transfer station operator, or visit their websites to see which individual materials can still be recycled by dropping off at local recycling centers (cardboard, metals, e-waste, etc…). Your local recycling centers are located at:
  • Rogue Transfer & Recycling – 8001 Table Rock Rd. White City
  • Valley View Transfer Station – 3000 N. Valley View Rd., Ashland
  • Ashland Recycling Center – 220 Water Street, Ashland
  • Southern Oregon Sanitation – 42 Ball Rd. Eagle Point & 1381 Redwood Ave., Grants Pass

Despite the current challenges to finding markets for commingled materials, your local solid waste service providers remain committed to protecting the health and welfare of the residents of the Rogue Valley by providing environmentally sound solid waste management services. We remain dedicated to offering recycling opportunities to our customers as markets develop for specific materials.  We look forward to working with our customers and communities to evolve our programs to meet the needs of changing recycling markets. The Department of Environmental Quality is also paying close attention to this situation. Click here to see the DEQ statement of emerging recycling changes as well as some FAQ’s.

As more information becomes available, we will share it with you.  In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to contact us with questions.

Rogue Disposal & Recycling  Call us at (541) 779-4161, or visit our website at: www.roguedisposal.com

Southern Oregon Sanitation  Call  (541) 826-5691 or (541) 479-5335, or visit our website at: www.sosanitation.com

Recology Ashland  Call  (541) 482-1471, or visit our website at: www.recology.com/recology-ashland/

Working together, we know we will find the solutions we need.

 

 

 

 

 

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