Recycling crisis: China doesn’t want our waste. Now what?


Recycling used to be a money maker but now it’s costing us, and growing our landfills… With probes and clipboards, Chinese inspectors tour Bay Area recycling centers at least once a month, testing our trash to see if it meets their new high standards. Until recently, almost all of our vast piles of plastic and … More Recycling crisis: China doesn’t want our waste. Now what?

Recycling isn’t about the planet. It’s about profit


When you drop a bottle in a blue bin, you’re joining the unruly transglobal trash trade. If you wanted to recycle a Coke bottle, the spring of 2011 was a great time to do it. That spring, every soda bottle you dropped into the translucent blue bag in your kitchen was worth about eight times … More Recycling isn’t about the planet. It’s about profit

Running effective organics collection programs


As the zero-waste movement gains momentum, so does the public’s desire to responsibly dispose of what consumes nearly one-third of municipal waste—food scraps. The uptick in demand has resulted in a boom of municipal organics curbside collection programs in recent years, often driven by local governments or community groups. But for some who have studied … More Running effective organics collection programs

Under China’s New Rules, U.S. Recycling Suffers


Some cities are closing recycling plants. Others are ending curbside pickup. For recycling to be sustainable, consumers must learn to sort their trash better. Ever since cities began offering curbside recycling programs, skeptics have joked about how it all ends up going to the same place as the garbage. In Franklin, N.H., that’s actually true. … More Under China’s New Rules, U.S. Recycling Suffers

Families Living Inside Indonesia’s Largest Landfill


It’s one of those headlines you can’t ignore: “People Are Living Inside Landfills as the World Drowns in its Own Trash.” The Huffington Post recently published an in-depth report about Bantar Gebang, Indonesia’s largest landfill, and the villages that are crammed against its compressed trash mounds. As many as 3,000 families live within the footprint … More Families Living Inside Indonesia’s Largest Landfill