Changes in international recycling markets have significantly impacted recycling programs in the U.S.
Erin L. Murphy, Miranda L. Bernard, Levi Helm, Infynity Hill, Álex Tuñas-Corzón
Arizona State University, School of Life Sciences, Tempe, AZ
Executive Summary: In 2018, China enacted an import ban on twenty-four types of recyclables as part of its National Sword policy, upending recycling programs across the U.S. In Arizona, many municipalities have responded by significantly reducing or completely halting their programs, causing some cities to landfill their recyclables. We have reviewed state legislation and interviewed waste management coordinators to identify the key challenges and opportunities for recycling in Arizona. Informed by our interviews, we call on Arizona state legislators to (1) pass a resolution to appropriate funding for the recycling grant program, (2) amend this program to allow for joint applications, (3) repeal A.R.S. 9-500.38, ‘Prohibition on regulation of auxiliary containers; state preemption; definition’, (4) introduce a tax on products imported in single-use containers, and (5) provide incentives to companies using Arizona recyclables. These policies would reinvigorate recycling within the state, make Arizona’s waste management systems more cost-effective, and foster new local processing and manufacturing industries.
Read the full article here at the Journal of Science Policy and Governance