Gloria Schmidt visits Pacific Steel and Recycling in Kalispell every couple of weeks to drop off her recyclables. On Monday morning she deposited a few boxes and newspapers into the appropriate bins, just like usual. Although it’s not a lot, it’s important to her to do what she can to help the environment.
But a possible change to her routine is around the corner.
Above the receptacles is a sign alerting customers that as of Aug. 1, they’ll have to pay to drop off fibrous recyclables such as cardboard, newspaper and other paper. It’s the latest in a long line of trickle-down effects resulting from China’s decision to restrict imports of select United States recyclables in 2017, known as the National Sword policy. Previously, an estimated 40 percent of U.S. recyclables were sent to China. However, the country restricted imports due to receiving what it considered to be a high percentage of contaminated materials.