RePlanet, California’s largest bottle and can recycling center chain, shut its doors Monday and now many recyclable materials are going to landfill.
But it’s not just RePlanet. Most recycling centers are struggling to stay open.
According to the LA times, the Burbank Recycle Center once profited about $50,000 a month on recycled materials. As of 2017, the value of recyclables plummeted so low that Burbank was paying almost $40,000 a month to ship it overseas. Well, those countries overseas don’t want our trash anymore. So now these California centers are resorting to landfill. Yes, the dump.
To combat this, California is working on reform bills like AB 1080, the California Circular Economy and Plastic Pollution Reduction Act, which would require all single-use plastic products ans packaging in California to be recyclable or compostable by January 2030.
But how is the requirement that single-use containers be recyclable a helpful institution when we cannot rely on our recycling plants to operate sustainably? To me, it seems like “compostable” should be our goal. Not recyclable. We’re already in over our heads with recyclables, many of which are now going to landfill. Why create more? We need to fix the system and the laws at the same time.
What do you think?