Recycling Chaos In U.S. As China Bans 'Foreign Waste'

Posted by $ nickursis 3 years, 6 months ago to Economics
8 comments | Share | Flag

Hmm...a little bit of technology can overcome human error. That has always been the problem with recycling, in a country of people who cannot think critically, and understand the symbols, and no one making it easy to understand, then you get....garbage. So, go for the fix and find a way to separate it, unless you think you can fix people...

Add Comment


All Comments Hide marked as read Mark all as read

  • Posted by $ CBJ 3 years, 6 months ago
    If there were a free market in trash disposal, would "recycling" even be an issue?
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by $ 3 years, 6 months ago
      I think part of the problem was a lot of companies and businesses did not see the value in recycling, as when it started the system to support it did not exist. Then it got going with rules, regulations and subsidies to encourage it, but it still is imperfect, and rather than solve those issues, they dumped it on China. Now China no longer needs it, so they are stuck, until some genius ideas come along, like the sorting of material by robot. You need some good AI to learn how to identify garbage and value.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
      • Posted by lrshultis 3 years, 6 months ago
        The recycler that does my community just have us place everything in a blue plastic bag. They have a machine that is able to separate everything. Same for next community a mile and a half away but with a container like a trash can in which every thing goes together. The separating machines already exist. I don't know what becomes of the stuff, paper used to go into making animal bedding. All electronic stuff needs be taken to a separate recycler for a fee.
        Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by evlwhtguy 3 years, 6 months ago
    Based on the Chinese statements here I think we have a combination of factors economic and political.
    1. labor costs are rising in China and they cant economically afford to hire even the semi-peasants to sort the trash.
    2. The Statement in the article is telling...." this "foreign waste" includes too many other nonrecyclable materials that are "dirty," even "hazardous." In a filing with the World Trade Organization the country listed 24 kinds of solid wastes it would ban "to protect China's environmental interests and people's health.""
    I think this is a situation where you never let a good crisis go to waste. The crisis being rising labor costs making it un-affordable to sort the trash and the advantage is that the commies can dis the USA as hazardous waste spreading scumbags while at the same time state how concerned they are about the "workers" in China. What a load!
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by $ Olduglycarl 3 years, 6 months ago
    What ever happened to paper bags, wax paper, cardboard containers and cups. Not only were these things natural, renewable and biodegradable but they also didn't need recycling in the first place. Seems liberal progressive solutions actually caused this problem.

    Trees are a renewable resource and if we practiced proper land management, used all the old dead growth and replanted...maybe forest fires wouldn't be a problem.

    Let's just go back to the past, real glass bottles and employ all the illegal aliens as bottle washers as punishment for slithering past our borders then send them home after a few years, just in time for the next round up.
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  
    • Posted by freedomforall 3 years, 6 months ago
      The free market has spoken. It costs less to use the plastics and Styrofoam than the paper. The hidden costs are way down the road from the original sales so they aren't in the retail sales economics equation.
      Reply | Mark as read | Parent | Best of... | Permalink  
  • Posted by $ blarman 3 years, 6 months ago
    I think it's hilarious that China is concerned about waste given the state of the Yangtze (Yellow) River and the air pollution over their major cities. Sure as I'm sitting here this is a political decision.

    What's also hilarious is that the people affected are the very "greenies" who pretend that shipping their trash to someone else constitutes an environmentally-sound policy because of a "not-in-my-backyard" approach to landfills. To me, it just leaves me laughing and shaking my head at the same time.

    Now if people really want to get down to real solutions for waste management, there was a technology at one point which involved putting garbage into what essentially was an oil refinery and reducing it down to trace minerals and oil. I think this would solve a lot of problems, but it's ten years old and hasn't gone anywhere... (
    Reply | Mark as read | Best of... | Permalink  


  • Comment hidden. Undo