Twin Falls Is Struggling To Find Solution For Plastic Recycling After Changes In China

Feb 21, 2019

Twin Falls has a recycling problem. According to the Twin Falls Times-News, the City Council has decided not to raise a cap on the cost of recycling – which means some recycled materials will get sent to the dump.


But the city is not alone. The problem goes back to 2017, when China overhauled their recycling importation laws. Much of what was being sent to their shores was plastic that could not be recovered, and was ending up in giant garbage piles in Asia. When they closed their market to imports, it created an expensive hurdle for U.S. waste management companies.

Under the current budget, the city sends material that goes over $175 per ton to the landfill. The city projects that their costs will exceed $189 per ton in March. Twin Falls only accepts plastics labeled ones and twos, but residents continue to put unaccepted plastics in their recycling bin. That makes it even harder to resell.  

According to the Times-News, the city looked into an orange bag program like the one Boise has – but the costs are too much.  

Find reporter Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

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