Keep it Clean

Do Your Part to Meet Tightened Recycling Rules

What is “National Sword”?

China has historically been the largest consumer of recycled commodities throughout the United States, importing approximately 13 million tons of paper and 776,000 tons of plastic from the US annually. As of March 1, 2018, China has imposed a number of restrictions on imported recyclables under a policy entitled “National Sword,” creating zero tolerance for a number of problem materials.

The policy changes in China have caused a significant increase in scrap imports to Southeast Asian countries. These countries have enacted bans and standards similar to those in China. As countries continue to impose restrictions on recyclable scrap imports, it has become increasingly difficult and expensive to export recyclable material.

New global policies are reshaping the flow of recyclable material around the world.

What has GreenWaste done in response?

GreenWaste has always performed far better than industry standards in maintaining low contamination rates.

In reaction to ever heightening standards, the GreenWaste Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) has added staff to the sorting line and slowed down throughput. MRF workers are inspecting loads as they come in and drivers are scrutinizing material as they collect it. GreenWaste has installed millions of dollars in equipment and has significantly increased labor to ensure higher-than-industry diversion in these challenging times.

GreenWaste sells to both domestic and international markets. GreenWaste prioritizes locating domestic markets, but there is insufficient domestic processing capacity to manage all of the material that GreenWaste produces. GreenWaste continually seeks innovative markets and partners to remain on the forefront of recycling.

What Can You Do?

Only Recyclables

Place only recyclable materials in the recycle container. (See “What Goes Where” for your area)

Soiled Paper

No Soiled Paper

Remember that soiled paper is no longer recyclable.

Empty Liquids

Empty Liquids

Empty all liquids before tossing in the recycling container.


Remove Sticky Foods

Use spatulas or other utensils to remove sticky foods.