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Who Wants our Trash?

Beijing Bicycle

An article in the New York Times yesterday spotlights the effects of the global economic slowdown on scavengers of recyclable materials in Beijing.

Low worldwide commodity prices for used paper, plastic, and metal not only mean losses for community recycling programs here in the U.S. but also make life more difficult for the many people in developing countries who earn a living scavenging for usable materials in trash.

The article also provides a window into the global recycled commodities market. Who knew that so much of the paper and plastic we so proudly sort and recycle is simply shipped to China? Out of sight and mind, these recyclables end up in a country with some of the worst environmental pollution in the world. With commodity prices so low, these items may simply become trash, if there is no demand for reusing their materials.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 12, 2009 1:57 PM.

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