Kent County considers recycling hike because of Chinese ban

June 9, 2018

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Kent County is suffering a $1 million shortfall because China is refusing U.S. recyclables.

Darwin Baas is Kent County director of public works. He tells the Grand Rapids Press that the county might have to double the cost of recycling.

The price of recyclables has plummeted since January after China banned the import of “mixed paper” such as office paper, magazines and mail. Recyclables previously bound for China then flooded the U.S. market.

Baas says a ton of mixed paper sold for about $85 a ton a year ago. Now it’s at $5 per ton or less.

A doubling in the rate of tipping fees at the county’s sorting facility are built into the proposed 2019 budget. Approval by county officials would put the rates into effect Jan. 1.

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