By Christina Weiler, Colgate University, Founder of UCan Nonprofit Organization; Christopher Galantino, Cornell University, President Cornell Sustainability Consultants; Rob Watson, Chief Science Officer, Eco-Hub LLC. Founder & Co-chair SWEEP Standard
Earlier this month, we published a piece based on Waste Dive’s excellent ongoing investigation of the effects of China’s material import ban on America’s recycling infrastructure. The analysis was performed on a state-by-state basis and categorized impacted recycling infrastructure as either “Minimal,” “Noticeable,” or “Heavy.” Minimal indicated no major issues in program scope or performance, Noticeable indicated slower facility output and recycling program cuts under consideration or being implemented, and Heavy indicated shrunken or vanished markets, significantly cut back programs, and recyclables being landfilled instead of being processed for reuse.
Because the market is changing rapidly and we’d like to update this piece often, here are the latest highlights for the month of July (as of 7/20).
Since June 2018, the conditions of 5 states have declined while only 2 have improved. Nevada recovered from Heavy to Noticeable impact and South Dakota recovered from Noticeable to Minimal. However, the states of Arizona, Washington D.C., Georgia, Illinois, and Michigan have all climbed from Minimal to Noticeable impact while New York has increased from Noticeable to High impact. Table 1 provides a visual representation of this data.
All together, July 2018 observes 78% of total states identifying as either Noticeable or Heavy, representing 88.2% of the US GDP and 89% of the US population. Compared to June 2018, where 68% of total states identified as Noticeable or Heavy, representing 75% of the nation’s GDP and 72% of the nation’s population, these numbers are significant.
We will continue to track and discuss Waste Dive’s analysis as it is published. Stay tuned for a series, of which this is the second edition.
Table 1: States and Current Impact Category (7/20)
|District of Columbia||N|
Table 2 – Waste Dive Report: Impact of China Import Ban on Recycling in US States
|Date||Minimal Impact States||Noticeable Impact States||Heavy Impact States||% of US GDP Impacted States||% of US population Impacted States|