Clean newspapers without recycling contamination In The News

Recycling Contamination, China and Recycling in the News

Guest Blogger

Recycling contamination is an issue across the nation and world but is also a major problem here in Cuyahoga County. Recently, many media outlets have reported on how we’re being affected by China’s new environmental policies and the best ways to recycle properly.

Recycling contamination happens when well-intended recyclers mistakenly put the wrong items into their recycling. It can wreak havoc on the recycling process from Cuyahoga County to throughout the world.

The following stories provide details about what’s happening with recycling here and around the globe.

Local Media

WKYC TV3 (4/20/18): ‘We the People’ segment Be a Recycling Advocate

Cleveland TV19 (5/21/18): Recycling in Northeast Ohio: You’re doing it wrong, and it could cost you

Cleveland TV19 (5/21/18): Anchor quiz clip: Recycling in Northeast Ohio: You’re doing it wrong, and it could cost you

The Plain Dealer (6/3/18): Recycling: We’re doing it wrong, and it’s costing us

The Plain Dealer (6/3/18): Wishful recycling covers a host of non-recyclables, from disposable coffee cups to greasy pizza boxes

WCPN 90.3 Ideastream (6/6/18): Diane Bickett on Sound of Ideas with Mike McIntyre. Hear the interview audio beginning at 19:45.

The Plain Dealer (6/10/18): What about Solo cups and coffee lids? Recycling confusion cleared up in Cuyahoga County

WKYC TV3 (6/27/2018): Rules for recycling have changed in Northeast Ohio

The Plain Dealer (7/1/2018): What’s recyclable? Good question

Westlake/Bay Village Observer (7/3/2018): Confused about recycling? You’re not alone

National Media

NPR (12/9/17): Recycling Chaos In U.S. As China Bans ‘Foreign Waste’

PRI (1/1/18): Mountains of US recycling pile up as China restricts imports

CBC News (4/12/18) Why products marked ‘recyclable’ sometimes aren’t

The Daily Gazette, New York (6/10/2018): Reduce and reuse first, then recycle with care. The problem is — nationwide — that contaminated products in the recycling bin is not recyclable.

NPR (6/13/18): This Is Why A Lot Of Our Recycling Is Going To Landfills

ABC News (6/20/18): Study: Plastic will pile up in wake of China recycling ban

NBC Nightly News (6/25/18): With China saying no to plastic waste, the world needs a new plan

Treehugger (7/6/18) Why recycling won’t save the world


Here in Cuyahoga County, the best way to avoid recycling contamination in your curbside recycling is to remember to always recycle these five categories of items: cans, cartons, glass bottles and jars, paper, and boxes along with plastic bottles and jugs. Learn more about recycling best practices.