Chinese Regulations Help Improve America’s Recycling Habits
In 2013, the global recycling community was thrown for a loop when China launched Operation Green Fence, an initiative enforcing new regulations on recyclable waste from foreign exporters. In short, the new regulations stated that China would no longer accept recyclable material above 1% contamination, a significant decrease from the previous threshold of 8% contamination.
In effort to enforce their fortification of waste management and quality regulations concerning imported recyclables, China’s campaign wreaked havoc on American recycling plants. Today, almost five years since the initiative began, vast improvements have been made by Royal Waste and our constituents in an effort to properly manage exported recycling materials.
What exactly has Operation Green Fence meant for the American recycler? Prior to the operation, each day, after thousands of shipping containers filled with Chinese exports from for American consumers were emptied, they were then reloaded with recyclable metals, plastics, rubbers, papers, cardboard, and textiles and sent back to China. There, these recyclables were used as raw materials by Chinese manufacturers.
A decrease in quality of the American-exported recyclables began to negatively impact the system, with too high a percentage of the materials being contaminated by food, scrap, and garbage. With their manufacturers best interest in mind, the Chinese government set new parameters for imported recyclables which would avoid the massive cost of re-sorting the imported materials, protect their own producers as well as greatly reduce the environmental impact.
As one of America’s largest exports to China, recyclables are in ever-important commodity to the American economy, and it’s no wonder why China wanted to ensure their purity and cleanliness. After the enactment of the operation, 70% of the imported containers of recyclables were subject to inspection, prompting more attention from recyclers and shippers and all the way down to the consumer.
Royal Waste Services is doing everything in our power to produce the cleanest possible product from what is turned over to us. Through consumer education, and our use of single stream recycling, quality control is at it’s highest level ever since Operation Green Fence was first introduced. Extra attention from consumers to properly sort and clean their recyclables in accordance with New York City sanitation laws is paramount and has helped us adjust our practices to align to Operation Green Fence.
How Can You Help?
Prior to recycling anything, consumers should be sure that all liquids are emptied, and all food residue has been rinsed out from containers. With new laws recently enacted in the New York City area regarding recycling and waste services, it is more important than ever to familiarize yourself with these new regulations to help us ensure the materials are properly disposed of and recycled. Recycling is a team effort, and it starts with you, the consumer. Leave the messy stuff to Royal Waste Services.
ABOUT ROYAL WASTE SERVICES, INC.
Royal Waste is a single stream recycling facility that offers 24/7 services and a dedicated staff to integrate seamlessly with a business’ existing waste management schedule, especially ensuring recycling compliance in New York City. Our goal is to eliminate waste by educating, training and providing our customers with more sustainable waste and recycling options and practices. For more information, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 718-526-2623.