Global Recycling Changes Affect Tri-Cities Area

In March, several recycling programs in the Tri-Cities region of Virginia and Tennessee were limited or canceled.

Recycling facilities are shutting down across the region due to global market changes. The facility shutdowns have stunted the ability of these recycling programs to continue depot and curbside collections.

In March 2018, China — the largest international importer of recyclable materials — banned the import of 24 materials, including some types of plastic, mixed paper and textiles. China’s recycling ban has disrupted the U.S. recycling market in multiple ways.

Industry publication Waste Dive tracks the ways recycling is changing around America. In Kingsport, Tenn., Tri-City Waste Paper Co. Inc., announced it was closing in February after 48 years. As a result, Sullivan County, Tenn., stopped accepting plastic at their facility. The closure of Tri-City Waste Paper has also led to recycling suspensions in Abingdon and Bristol, Va., as well as a moratorium on drop-off recycling in Washington County, Va. For more information, visit — By Jamie Tews

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