Last summer, China announced they no longer wanted to accept foreign nations’ garbage. More specifically, China wanted to omit most paper and plastic products it was accepting. China is in the middle of a massive antipollution push that is seeking to target some of its largest corporate polluters. China is looking to brighten their skies and clean their air through developing better and more city jobs prompting rural young people out of the factories and into the office buildings. What this means for Woodinville and its surrounding areas is that our newspaper is no longer, technically, recyclable.
“All of a sudden, material being collected on the street doesn’t have a place to go,” said Pete Keller, vice president of recycling and sustainability at the Arizona-based Republic Services, one of the largest waste managers in the country. Republic Services has three locations in Washington: two in Seattle and one in Bellevue. Keller stated that Republic Services Pacific Northwest has diverted more than 2,000 tons of paper to landfills since the Chinese ban came into effect.
While it may seem obvious when considered, recyclable goods are only recyclable if someone is willing to recycle them. Since March, China has barred 24 materials from entering its border. Paper and plastic are two of the more common.
Though this problem causes an immediate annoyance for residents, it does prompt more thoughtful and considerate ways to consume our products. There are ways to reuse and repurpose your copies of The Woodinville Weekly.
Here are some ways to get additional use out of your newspaper: Use the paper to wash windows. By mixing a splash of white vinegar with water, you can create your own nontoxic cleaning agent. Use the paper as a weed barrier in your garden. The paper will act as a wall rendering weeds unable to affect your garden. You can always save your editions of the paper and use them for packing purposes. Imagine unpacking things years later to have a memento of the past! Newspaper can provide help with ripening of fruits. Wrap your fruits and they will ripen quicker allowing you to enjoy them sooner. Additionally, you can line your crisper drawer in your fridge to absorb odors and liquids. Donate them to pet shelters. Pet shelters often need disposable liners for their crates. Get artsy and papier-mâché. All you’ll need is glue and you can host your own crafts party.