The Atlantic

Letters: The Growing Recycling Crisis

Readers share their thoughts on how to improve recycling processes in the United States.
Source: Reed Saxon / AP

Is This the End of Recycling?

Last year, China restricted imports of certain recyclables. For decades, the United States had sent the bulk of its recycling there; now, waste-management companies are telling towns, cities, and counties that the market for their recycling no longer exists. These municipalities can either pay much higher rates to get rid of their recycling, or throw it all away.

As the trash piles up, Alana Semuels wrote in early March, American cities are scrambling to figure out what to do with everything they had previously sent abroad:

“Americans are going to have to come to terms with a new reality: All those toothpaste tubes and shopping bags and water bottles that didn’t exist 50 years ago need to go somewhere, and creating this much waste has

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