Wed, Oct 09, 2013 - Page 9 News List

China’s trash cleanup jolts the West

Once trash imports had little oversight, but now Beijing is demanding cleaner trash to reduce the environmental cost of recycling the world’s garbage

By Joe McDonald  /  AP, BEIJING

Biddle said he welcomes Green Fence, despite the disruption of imports, because higher standards will favor more responsible companies.

“We’ve had to compete for raw materials with people who treat the materials not in ways that protect workers or the environment,” Biddle said by telephone from California. “I see China moving toward encouraging companies like ours to develop.”

Conners said that by raising the cost of dealing with China, Green Fence might make it profitable for more Western companies to conduct the whole recycling process themselves. He said his company is looking at possible ventures to do that with partners.

“The advantage China had has been reduced considerably. That advantage was low-cost processing,” he said. “This is going to spur investment in the United States to process materials here.”

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