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Thread: China won't take our garbage (ahem, "recycling") anymore

  1. #1

    Default China won't take our garbage (ahem, "recycling") anymore

    Starting Monday, Alberta municipalities will no longer be able to send certain paper and plastic products to China.

    Like other Canadian cities, many Alberta municipalities have been shipping thousands of tonnes of items like plastic wrap, plastic grocery bags and cardboard to China each year.

    But the Chinese government announced in July that it would stop accepting shipments of certain plastic and paper products by the end of 2017.
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmont...hina-1.4468201

    Time to close down the "recycling" plants in Alberta (Edmonton and Calgary), and accept that our waste is, what it is, "waste"? For it seems no more, we can fill up the empty TV containers going back to China, with crap that the cities have been lying to us was being recycled. In fairness Edmonton has done a bit better than Calgary (although still 10,000 tonnes "exported" each year) - Calgary is looking for another foreign country to dump it in:

    Calgary has been storing its unwanted recyclable items until the city can find another foreign buyer.

    The impact of the Chinese policy change likely won't will be felt as widely in Edmonton. According to city officials, Edmonton currently sells about 10,000 tonnes of recyclables to China each year. The city, which already sells unwanted recyclable waste to other countries like Indonesia, will continue to rely on other markets to buy their plastic and paper products.
    Philippines no longer wants it. Maybe some pollution free place that has great recycling / environmental programs, like India (which takes ships from over the world, for poverty stricken people to tear apart in horrible work conditions)? I think, if we truly want to call this recycling, we have to deal with it all in Canada, or if that's not economic, call it what it is, a result of our consumption for us to deal with, not look for another developing country to export the problem to (they need to focus on their own waste first).

    Last edited by moahunter; 31-12-2017 at 11:02 AM. Reason: fix the link, clarify

  2. #2

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    The irony of China not wanting to take our recycling anymore is cute. After all, most of our recycling comes from there in the first place. On another note, I think we should be looking after our recycling ourselves. Each province should have their own recycling stations where they actively dismantle goods and repurpose them sensibly. Electronics should last longer, personal electronics should not be made only for them to become obsolete after 4 or 5 years due to manufactures updates that render them that way. Fridges, stoves and other big appliances should go back to being made of stronger internal parts so that they don't break after 5 years. It should not be the case that our junk should be shipped thousands of miles across an ocean for some other country to dispose of.
    Last edited by Gemini; 31-12-2017 at 06:42 PM.
    Gone............................and very quickly forgotten may I add.

  3. #3

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    With the exception of metals, recyclables are not much better than garbage.

  4. #4
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    Recycling is really just a dirty word especially for electronics. It's a way for affluent countries like us to absolve us of our guilt by claiming to be environmentally conscious and shipping it overseas where a lot of the recycling is done by hand under appalling conditions both for the people doing it and the environment. Electronic components are full of trace toxic elements that really should be handled mechanically under controlled conditions.
    Did my dog just fall into a pothole???

  5. #5

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    Who's to say what China does with the recycling materials it cannot recycle. I should imagine a lot of 'stuff' gets dumped in the ocean. All countries generate trash and they should be looking after their own trash. Foods like bottled water are just adding to the plastic trash heap and yet bottled water is a very popular purchase. Unless your water supply is compromised tap water should be more than adequate for people to drink. There are hundreds more items that can be repackaged in different ways if manufactures put their mind to it.
    Gone............................and very quickly forgotten may I add.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini View Post
    The irony of China not wanting to take our recycling anymore is cute. After all, most of our recycling comes from there in the first place.
    So if we sent forest products to China, or military vehicles to Saudi Arabia, we should be responsible for cleaning it up? The only reason China produces the products is because we are demanding them, its our consumption, and the waste that results is ours also.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by norwoodguy View Post
    Recycling is really just a dirty word especially for electronics. It's a way for affluent countries like us to absolve us of our guilt by claiming to be environmentally conscious and shipping it overseas where a lot of the recycling is done by hand under appalling conditions both for the people doing it and the environment. Electronic components are full of trace toxic elements that really should be handled mechanically under controlled conditions.
    I agree - Council can make themselves appear green, and people can consume as much as they want and not feel "bad" about it because they recycle it (not realizing it ends up in some developing country for children to play around in).

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini View Post
    The irony of China not wanting to take our recycling anymore is cute. After all, most of our recycling comes from there in the first place.
    So if we sent forest products to China, or military vehicles to Saudi Arabia, we should be responsible for cleaning it up? The only reason China produces the products is because we are demanding them, its our consumption, and the waste that results is ours also.
    Agee. As buyers we can choose what we buy.

    As for recycling in order to be “green” - it’s all just a farce.

    Any discussion of “being green” is just phoney sentiments continuously thrown out there by everyone to justify what they want to do while scoring cheap points.
    We mainly recycle here to extend landfill lifespans because of the cost and hassle of adding landfill, and not for “environmental” reasons. There’s very, very little that anyone, or any business, or any city council, or ny other level of government does for “environmental” reasons.
    Last edited by KC; 02-01-2018 at 10:10 AM.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini View Post
    The irony of China not wanting to take our recycling anymore is cute. After all, most of our recycling comes from there in the first place.
    So if we sent forest products to China, or military vehicles to Saudi Arabia, we should be responsible for cleaning it up? The only reason China produces the products is because we are demanding them, its our consumption, and the waste that results is ours also.
    No, if we buy it from somewhere it's ours. Possession is nine tenths of the law. But it is ironic that China produces tons of plastics that we buy but when we have no more use for it we want it to go back to them. It is rather counterproductive using millions of dollars in shipping costs to send our recyclables back to another country although we do pay a recycling fee on most electronics etc. Not to mention the oil used in those transportation costs. Not very green.
    Gone............................and very quickly forgotten may I add.

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