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Decrease in recycling market complicates Spokane recycling

The City of Spokane takes in about 60,000 tons of product from recycle bins and about 13 percent of that can't be recycled.

SPOKANE, Wash. — Spokane’s Waste Management Company is having a hard time recycling some of the materials from city recycling bins.

In 2018, China stopped importing recyclable material from countries like the U.S.

That meant many regional private companies would no longer accept those materials from waste companies.

Chris Averyt, the manager of the Spokane recycling plant, said the city has increased the amount of money it spends for Waste Management to take recyclable items like glass.

“It’s difficult for us to find outlets that accept recyclables,” Averyt said. “Since their value has decreased, many private companies just aren’t buying them anymore.”

The City of Spokane takes in about 60,000 tons of product from recycle bins, according to Marlene Feist, spokesperson for the City of Spokane. About 13 percent of that product can’t be recycled, she said, which totals to about 7,800 tons of materials.

“Plastics are one of the bigger ones. Because of the downgrade, there’s not a recyclable market,” Averyt said.

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