San Francisco to Take Its Time Getting to Zero Waste

By J. Eric Miller : potreroview – excerpt

After a 2017 announcement by the Chinese government that it’d no longer accept shipments of recycled materials from foreign countries that contain more than one percent impurities, the world lost its largest market for recycled paper and plastic, driving prices down and turning trash back into garbage. Some cities, like Philadelphia and Memphis, have reduced or suspended their recycling efforts as a result. San Francisco, which in 2003 committed to achieving zero waste by 2020, has given itself significantly more time to reach that goal…

“China’s restrictions changed the marketplace,” SF Recology spokesperson Robert Reed noted. “China requires bales of recyclables, such as paper, and plastic such as detergent bottles and water bottles, contain less than one percent impurities. An almost impossible standard to meet. San Francisco has stepped up to work towards that standard.” … (more)


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