China’s import restrictions could impact the future of local recycling programs

SOUTH COUNTY, Mo. - China has stopped taking U.S. recycled materials because it was receiving too many items that aren't recyclable, this policy change has some local cities worried about the future of their recycling programs.

At the Kirkwood Recycling Center, there are labels for what goes in what bin and what isn`t accepted at all.  The problem is residents don`t have these signs at home so some things that aren't supposed to make it into recycling bins are.

A task force of local experts addressed this issue during a public forum Wednesday night hosted by the Missouri Botanical Garden. Many fear this could cause the cost of local curbside recycling programs to go up and lead to cancellations. China is the largest market for U.S. recycling exports, accounting for more than 40 percent of all recycled commodities.

Experts say the best way to prevent that from happening is to make sure only recyclable items go in those bins. Task force leaders explain that a lot of times plastic bags and styrofoam are making their way into recycling containers, where they shouldn`t be.

What Can I Recycle Curbside?

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