On March 1, 2018, China began refusing to buy U.S. and European recyclables—especially most kinds of plastics, which has led to a challenge for the recycling industry and local companies such as CDA Garbage.

In order to meet this challenge and continue offering full recycling service as defined by their current contract with the City, CDA Garbage should find new buyers in the US for our plastics, paper, and other recyclables.

Because of these constraints, CDA Garbage intends to propose a change of their contract to reduce what recyclables they accept.  They would like to reduce the plastic recyclables they accept to only plastics 1 & 2, which is basically hard plastic bottles. They will also be proposing a rate increase due to the increased costs of disposing of recyclables.  This proposed change could be brought up at an upcoming City Council meeting.

KEA does not advocate for the proposed change in their contract to reduce the recyclables they accept.  We also do not advocate for an increase in recycling fees to our community. If these proposed changes are brought up to city council, we advocate for the city to either hold them to their current contract or send the contract out to a new bid.  In light of all of the industry changes we owe it to our community and local contractors to work to ensure our recycling needs are met.

The alternative should be a concern to everyone: If we don’t recycle, landfills will have to be used.

Already 79% of all 6.3 billion tons of plastic waste produced up until 2015 have been dumped in landfills or into the environment.

What can we do to deal with this new challenge to our important recycling efforts?

Here are actions you can take now to help!

First, avoid buying single use plastic items.

Carry a water bottle to eliminate the need to buy plastic bottles—and save money.

64% of all bottled water comes from the tap.

Bottled water costs you about 2000 times as much as getting water from your own faucet here in CDA?        

Second, avoid single-use plastic bags.

Purchase and carry re-usable shopping bags.  Buy or make cotton bags for your fresh produce.

Plastic grocery bags are used about 12 minutes from the store to your home. They take 10-20 years to disintegrate. They litter the landscape and they clog recycling sorting machines.

Third, avoid using plastic drink straws.  Purchase and carry a stainless or pasta straw.

500 million plastic straws are discarded each year in the US alone. They litter our oceans and harm the sea life.

Fourth, avoid buying single-use pump soap dispensers.

Purchase bar soap instead.   

Fifth, avoid buying polyester clothing or fleece garments made from water bottles.

When washed the garments shed microplastic fibers that harm wildlife and contaminate our water.  Buy Patagonia’s Guppy Washing Bags to do your laundry. Also, choose more comfortable cotton, wool and natural fibers.

Please fill out this survey about recycling in our community