Newton has felt the impact of the recent change in China’s policy regarding the level of contamination in recyclable materials the country will now accept. Waste Management, the company contracted to haul the City’s waste, has fined Newton over $21,000 in recent months for what the company considers is too high a level of contamination of its recyclable materials. ‘Contamination’ is the mixing in of unacceptable items in recycling bins such as plastic bags or clothing as well as food soiled items. With the future uncertain, the best thing residents can do now is reduce and reuse, and when recycling, make sure only materials on the list of acceptable items is placed into the green bin and that it is clean. Newton residents can eliminate the imposed fine if we can clean up our recycling contamination.

A recent article published in the New York Times on May 29, 2018 shows that communities around the nation are facing this issue:

Your Recycling Gets Recycled, Right? Maybe, or Maybe Not

Plastics and papers from dozens of American cities and towns are being dumped in landfills after China stopped recycling most “foreign garbage.”

By Livia Albeck-Ripka 

Oregon is serious about recycling. Its residents are accustomed to dutifully separating milk cartons, yogurt containers, cereal boxes and kombucha bottles from their trash to divert them from the landfill. But this year, because of a far-reaching rule change in China, some of the recyclables are ending up in the local dump anyway.

In recent months, in fact, thousands of tons of material left curbside for recycling in dozens of American cities and towns — including several in Oregon — have gone to landfills.

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