January 20, 2020
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China’s foreign garbage ban causes ‘crisis’ among Maine recyclers

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Kevin Roche, general manager of ecomaine, a recycling and trash-to-energy facility in Portland, stands in front of a bale of recyclable cardboard material.

China’s foreign garbage ban has hurt recyclers in Maine and other parts of the U.S.

The Portland Press Herald reports the Chinese ban took effect Jan. 1. Under the new regulations, 24 types of recyclable materials have been banned and accepted the contamination level in mixed paper has been lowered to 1 percent. China had previously imported about half of the world’s “unwanted recyclables.”

Ecomaine CEO Kevin Roche says the move has caused a “crisis in the recycling world.” Maine recyclers have had to search for new buyers as they deal with dropping prices for recyclables.

Victor Horton of the Maine Resource Recovery Association says fluctuation in the industry isn’t new. Horton believes the problem will right itself.

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