Recycling centers plummet after waste ban in China


OPELIKA, AL – Nationwide, the recycling industry is crumbling after their largest importer, China, took a turn in their intake.

China has a huge impact on the recycling industries in the United States. A couple years ago they got real strict about what the U.S was bringing in that was contaminated. The United States took 30% of their recycling to China and that has been cut off completely, says Terry white, City of Opelika Director of Environmental Services. 

With newer and stricter regulations in place, it puts a strain locally on many recycling facilities. 

We got to educate our citizens about recycling the right way. We started this recycle right Opelika program, says White.

In Opelika, white says many recyclists are dropping off their items in garbage bags. He says it creates problems in the long run.

Grocery bags from Target, Walmart any of those type of bags they clog up the equipment in that facility it’s automated to a point, and we cannot take those, says White.

Right now there are four drop-off recycling centers in Opelika. In order to monitor and correct signs of contamination they must minimize those resources.

We are going to be closing two of our sites our Covington site and our Floral Park site. We are going to keep the Jeter Avenue site open and also the 8th Avenue site, says White.

If you have any questions, you can call the Opelika Environmental Services office at (334) 705-5480. 

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