(Photo Credit: Alan Levine, Flickr Creative Commons) In the face of grim headlines about soaring recycling costs and municipal program cutbacks, two nonprofit executives argue that the US recycling industry isn’t actually dying. China’s ban on contaminated scraps presents new opportunities for improvement, they say. “We need to usher Big Waste out of recycling and let common sense and entrepreneurialism take over,” Neil Seldman and Peter Anderson wrote in an op-ed for Waste Dive . Seldman is co-founder of the sustainable community development nonprofit Institute for Local Self-Reliance and Anderson serves as executive director of the Center for a Competitive Waste Industry , a nonprofit research and advocacy organization. The two executives responded to recent articles in the Atlantic and the New York Times about the effects of China’s National Sword policy banning certain types of solid waste as well as contaminated scraps. “Some 20 years ago, Big Waste companies made a deliberate decision to disrupt the then well-functioning dual-stream systems by convincing cities to switch to single-stream recycling,” the men wrote. “This caused contamination rates to increase and led to the market crunch started by Chinese import restrictions.” Although single-stream systems increased recycling participation, they didn’t increase actual […]


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