(Do?) We Recycle


Sadie Collins

Do We Recycle? Recent rumors suggest the City Of Arlington does not actually recycle waste products.

Sadie Collins, Reporter/Photographer

China no longer buys and reuses America’s recycle waste due to the lack of knowledge around recycling. America’s lack of understanding created China’s “National Sword” policy. The Chinese policy bans the importation of certain waste products and establishes strict contamination limits on the goods that are able to be recycled. This has drastically increased problems and raised prices all over the U.S, especially the West Coast.

With the refusal of recyclable waste, many of these “could be” recycled items are ending up in Landfills. The extreme new contamination rule of .5% has caused the redirection of 40% of America’s papers, plastics, and other recycled items. China’s refusal to take the waste has diverted the material to Southeast Asian countries: Thailand, Vietnam, and Malaysia. Not ready to receive such an increase of volume, these countries have now placed their own restrictions.

The U.S is looking for alternatives to smaller markets. The hope is these markets will develop later on, but it will take time. To counteract the struggles, many Washington counties have increased their recycling rates. Waste Management NW asked Arlington City Council agreed to increase recycling by 68 cents a month, amounting to $8.21 per customer.

“What is holding us back [from better recycling policies] is the cost. Garbage containers are expensive even if they are painted blue,” said Arlington’s Public Works Director, Jim Kelly.

A recent rumor around the high school suggested the alleged idea that the City Of Arlington does not actually recycle waste items. Whereas private companies, such as Waste Management NW, that the private consumers go through do. This rumor was debunked by Kelly. The City of Arlington does, in fact, does recycle.

“I was really upset, I make sure to clean all of my water bottles, which are not actually recycled,” said Alaina Duskin(12). She was a spokesperson for the group in Browns first period discussing the issue. She had heard about the rumor, and how the closest recycling plant shut down, and sending garbage to the next plant was too costly to do.

Most of the recycling bins are in downtown Arlington on Olympic Avenue. Whereas over the rest of Arlington, bins are more scarce and have not been placed in all city parks. All of the public offices and facilities have recycling, which is provided and picked up by, Waste Management. To help improve recycling in this town, small business have been offered two 296 gallon recycling containers by Arlington and Waste Management. Of which, 300 businesses have agreed. Recycling is also offered at all town festivals and events by state law through the program Clear Stream.