State cautions on recycling certain plastics as market slims

SEATTLE (AP) — Washington state regulators are asking counties to consider not recycling certain plastic and other products if there’s not a market for it.

Since China stopped buying certain recycled waste, such as certain plastics, unsorted paper and scrap metals, more of those items are piling up at landfills.

KUOW-FM reports that companies that can’t sell those products have been asking the state to approve higher solid waste rates for consumers.

Dave Danner, chair of the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission, says that if there isn’t a market for certain plastic or other products, it makes more sense to reduce and reuse in the first place. Otherwise, he says, it costs money to sort and process those items, which eventually end up in the landfill.

Some waste contractors in Seattle and other urban areas are still finding markets for those items, but others are not.