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AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 11: A local recycling scheme is signposted at the Matakana Famers Market in Matakana October 11, 2008 near Auckland, New Zealand. Farmers markets in New Zealand are rapidly growing in popularity as people seek more healthy, fresh and nutritious alternatives to supermarket food. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

A few days ago I came home to find that my blue recycling bin was missing from my driveway.

At first I assumed that one of my neighbors had stolen it and began making rounds through the area, searching for anyone with an extra trash bin. I was fully prepared to steal it back, along with additional collateral items.

It was several hours before I was informed that the city had discontinued the recycling program. Concerned by the extraordinarily high level of hot pocket boxes and wine bottles I am now sure to be sending directly to the ocean, I started looking into the reason for this decision. What I found is that until about a year ago, China was responsible for importing and disposing of most U.S. recyclable materials in part of a $200 billion industry. However China is responsible for most of the world’s pollution, and in an effort to reduce waste has stopped accepting our trash. This has left many states with the sudden problem of needing a safe and efficient way to dispose of recyclable materials.

There are many issues with every current approach available, and has lead to many cities and states to abandon recycling altogether. This global issue has reached the small town that I call home, and I would like to bring awareness to the fact that alternative solutions to the pollution problem are needed now more than ever.

Then again have my efforts to recycle in the past amounted to anything; considering that China was the one actually responsible? I am highly conflicted and concerned now.


Intern Jack | The MRL Morning Show