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U.S. Recycling Industry Grapples With China's Foreign Waste Restrictions

Blue recycling bins are seen on a residential street, Oct. 30, 2017 in Portland, Oregon. China is sharply restricting imports on recycled materials, and the impact will be felt across the Pacific Northwest. (Natalie Behring/Getty Images)
Blue recycling bins are seen on a residential street, Oct. 30, 2017 in Portland, Oregon. China is sharply restricting imports on recycled materials, and the impact will be felt across the Pacific Northwest. (Natalie Behring/Getty Images)

Recyclers in the United States are feeling the impact of China’s new strict standards for the recycling it imports from around the world. China wants to eliminate the contamination that comes with the plastic, paper and some metals, but because these new standards are very hard to meet, it is essentially a ban on foreign recyclables.

Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson talks with Joe Fusco, vice president at Casella Waste Systems, about what these changes mean for his company and the U.S. recycling industry.

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