Maine Recyclers Deal With Chinese Foreign Garbage Ban

Jan 16, 2018

Local recyclers are facing financial and logistical challenges brought on by a lack of global demand.

On Jan. 1, China banned 24 kinds of recyclables it used to import. That ban affects material sales for organizations like ecomaine.

General manager Kevin Roche says moving waste like residential paper is more costly than it was last year.

“Last year at this time mixed residential paper was selling for $60-$70 a ton and now it’s selling for practically nothing, right down to zero and, in some cases you gotta pay shipping,” he says. “When it’s a weak market like it is now we’re on the phone calling searching for orders versus a year ago when it was a very strong market where everybody was calling us.”

Roche says storage remains an issue. Ecomaine has 20 trailers waiting for shipment. But he remains optimistic, saying ecomaine is still receiving orders.