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11/9/2017
Sitka recycling scaled back after China ban

SITKA (AP) — The recycling company that serves the Alaska Panhandle city of Sitka has informed officials that it can no longer accept many types of recyclable material because it has lost China as an export destination.

The contractor, Republic Services, put the city on notice in October that it might have to make the change, the Daily Sitka Sentinel reported Tuesday.

The change affects such goods as yogurt containers, ketchup and squeeze bottles, straws, plastic cups, plates and medicine containers, said Maegan Bosak, the Sitka’s public affairs director.

China is the top buyer of recyclables from Sitka and the U.S. but the country advised the World Trade Organization in July that it planned to ban imports of 24 types of recyclables.

The policy takes effect Jan. 1 but the company said it would have to stop accepting the affected items by Nov. 1 because of the time it takes to ship them to China.

City officials will soon discuss how to deal with the situation and “what effect it may have, how it will affect rates,” Bosak said.

The company will still take for recycling cardboard, some types of plastics and glass, aluminum and tin, Bosak said.