Catalogue of Solid Waste Forbidden to Import into China: Solid Waste Association of North America October 11th Update to States

Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard, P.L.L.C.

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The Solid Waste Association of North America (“SWANA”) sent an October 11th “update” to state officials regarding the People’s Republic of China intent to update its Catalogue of Solid Waste Forbidden to Import into China (“Ban”).

The SWANA October 11th document is titled:

Impact of Chinese Waste Ban on State & Local Recycling Program (“Update”)

China had previously notified the World Trade Organization of its intent to ban the import of certain wastes. The Ban is expansive enough that it could also include certain scrap plastics, mixed paper and slags and drosses.

Both SWANA and the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries have filed comments with the World Trade Organization on the Ban.

The SWANA Update initially addresses:

  • Chinese waste Ban background
  • Potential impact on state and local recycling programs
  • Action items states should consider to respond to increased market certainty

The Update suggestions for states include:

  1. Communicate with local governments, industry partners, generators, and other interested parties about the current disruption in recycling markets.

  2. Educate all stakeholders about the importance of generating high quality material. China’s ongoing efforts to limit the amount of contamination in material imports – dating back to the 2013 “Green Fence” – highlight the need for recyclers to produce high quality material.

  3. Renew efforts to encourage waste reduction and the development of alternative domestic markets for recyclable materials. Both have the potential to reduce reliance on Chinese markets.

  4. Review current and contemplated recycling goals and regulations in light of current market conditions.

A copy of the Update can be downloaded here.

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