Penn Waste has provided the following information to the Township about an apparent recycling industry crisis due to the recent “trade war” with China.  Penn Waste advised that the United States generates more recyclable material than any other country in the world and China is the world’s largest buyer of recyclable material.  The Chinese government recently imposed new rules severely restricting the levels of contamination allowed in the recyclable material they accept.  These changes have had catastrophic consequences on the US recycling industry.  Contamination is any non-recyclable item (aka TRASH) that gets mixed into a bale of recyclable material. When bales of recyclables arrive in China, they are cut open and sorted through.  Items such as plastic bags, clothing, medical waste, Christmas lights and any other non-recyclable items are considered “contamination”.  Previously bales were allowed to have around 5% contamination in them, or 92 lbs of trash, in a 1,850 lb bale of recycled paper.  Beginning in 2018, China changed those restrictions to a 0>5% contamination rate, or 9 lbs of trash in a 1,850 lb bale of recycled paper.  This is an unrealistic number that recycling companies cannot meet.  WE ARE ASKING TOWNSHIP RESIDENTS TO BE CAREFUL IN MAKING SURE THEY ARE NOT THROWING TRASH IN WITH THEIR RECYLCING SO THAT WE CAN TRY TO MEET CHINA’S NEW CONTAMINATION LIMITS AND KEEP TRASH COSTS DOWN.