China Stops Recycling for U.S.

China stops annual $5 billion recycling business.


Michael Kennedy, Copy Editor

China has been recycling for the U.S, for many decades now. China said that the ban would take effect in September. They will not be taking in 24 types of solid waste. Some of this waste “including types of plastic and unsorted paper commonly sent from the U.S” (

The announcement that China has made, makes the U.S. recyclers nervous. China has given no time to the recyclers to find an alternative way to dispose of the wastes. Adina Adler stated, “we respect what the Chinese government is trying to do… but they gave us practically no time for any kind of transition” (

The U.S. recycling industry has many materials in which Chinese recyclers crave. Many of these materials are: scrap metal, paper, plastic, rubber and electronics. In the book Junkyard Planet states that it is cheaper to send it to China than it is to send it from Los Angeles to Chicago.

Beijing is now banning some of the materials due to the effect it can have on the environment. A large portion of the solid waste contains hazardous material. China’s State Council hoped to “reform… promote the recycling use of domestic solid wastes, protect the ecological environment and people’s health” (

Adam Minter wrote in July that the ban will force many Chinese recyclers to shut done. If they shut down, many of the waste will end up incinerated or end up in a landfill.