Those of us who recycle religiously like to think our discarded plastics and paper are ultimately finding their way into other useful objects. Unfortunately, now that may not always be the case.
Most municipalities in the United States have been shipping their recycled materials overseas. Although countries such as India and Vietnam accept recyclables, the bulk of reusable materials are sent to China.
Last year, China announced that it is tightening its standards, rejecting shipments that contain more than 0.5% non-recyclable materials. Common contaminants include plastic bags, styrofoam, and food waste (all containers should be rinsed).
Contamination results in thousands of dollars’ worth of fines to Quincy. Recycling properly, on the other hand, not only saves the city money but reduces our contribution to climate change because making products with recycled goods requires less energy – and therefore spews out fewer greenhouse gases – than making them from virgin materials.
So please read and follow Quincy’s new recycling guidelines to ensure that our recycled materials make it on to another life.