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Sustainability

Posted on: September 12, 2018

Keep Our Recycling Clean

Did you know that 60 percent of the recyclable materials collected in the U.S. go to China to be recycled into new products? 

Historically, China accepted up to 5 percent non-recyclable contaminants (garbage or food waste) in bales of recyclable materials. However, last March, the Chinese government began enforcing a policy called National Sword, which severely restricts the import of recyclable plastics and paper.

Making sure our recycling is clean, dry, and empty reduces contamination and ensures it is more marketable to recyclers in the U.S. and around the world.

This is a BIG change and has had a huge impact on recycling markets around the globe. We need your help!

What can you do? 
  • Keep recycling clean and free of contaminants (food scraps and garbage).
  • Empty and dry food containers, like pasta sauce jars, or yogurt cups. Use dish water to swish, or a used napkin to wipe them out (napkins are compostable). 
  • Keep recyclables out of black plastic bags. They will not be opened at the sorting facility and will be sent to the landfill as garbage. 
  • Place greasy pizza boxes and other food-soiled paper in your organics cart. 
  • Avoid hopeful or wishful recycling by using the sorting guides to make sure an item is recyclable. Or, as we say. “when in doubt, find out!” 

For more information on recycling, please visit any of these websites:
-King County Recycle Right
-Preventing waste is a great way to conserve natural resources.
-Looking to prevent waste? Start by opting out of junk mail.

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