Solid Waste & Recycling

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China ban leads to new SWANA task force

With China’s waste ban already in place and the 0.5 contamination standard taking effect on March 1, SWANA’s Recycling Task Force will develop and support strategies for ensuring the continuation of sustainable recycling programs


Remarkably, waste plastics imports plunged 94% in January 2018 to 10,000 tonnes from December’s 180,000 tonnes. (Photo: AlexLMX/Shutterstock.com)

The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) has established a new Recycling Task Force created to provide guidance in the wake of China’s waste ban already in place and the 0.5% contamination standard taking effect March 1.

SWANA’s Recycling Task Force will include representatives from SWANA’s Technical Divisions, its international board, local government officials, private sector Materials Recovery Facility owners, and equipment manufacturers.

“Now that China’s waste import restrictions have taken effect, reducing contamination will be an obvious focus,” said David Biderman, SWANA Executive Director and CEO. “However, the Task Force will also evaluate strategies for increasing demand for recycled material, and educate elected officials about the job growth opportunities associated with improving domestic recycling operations to meet this challenge,” added Biderman.

SWANA submitted comments to the World Trade Organization in August 2017 and December 2017, sent a letter to state agencies, has met with government and private sector stakeholders in both the United States and Canada, and now is creating the Recycling Task Force to continue providing leadership and expertise to help address the current disruption in the marketplace.

“SWANA’s Recycling Task Force will reduce dependency on minimal end markets by creating strategies, developing infrastructures and marketing SWANA’s commitment to sustainable recycling programs in North America,” said Kim Braun, Environmental Programs & Operations Manager for Culver City, California, who will serve on the Task Force.


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