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China’s recycling restrictions may start impacting business

Bill Smith|

A recent change in China’s recycling restrictions have caused a surplus of recyclable materials in the United States. The increase in supply is starting to affect business.

The Chinese National Sword policy increased the country’s import restrictions, and that is preventing the United States from sending them recyclable materials. Now, U.S. recycling facilities are having trouble keeping up with the backlog of goods.


And the law of supply and demand is forcing facilities to cut prices.


Andi Shepherd is with Emmet County Recycling.


“Nationally there is less stuff going to China there is a surplus of recyclable materials here in the U.S. The supply is up and the demand is down, so we get less dollars per ton for our materials.”


Shepherd said Emmet County Recycling is able to process and sell materials to manufacturers, but low prices will be affecting their business. She said Emmet County Recycling is preparing to weather low markets for the next few years.


Lindsey Walker is another spokesperson with Emmet County Recycling. She said residents are a key component to keeping business costs low.


“By putting it back on the consumer and then educating, educating, educating. Making sure our processes are recovering clean materials for Michigan manufacturers that has really been the key.”


Walker said residents can help recycling facilities cut costs by cleaning out materials and reading recycling guides on what their community can recycle.