As many counties are no doubt aware, China has recently announced that beginning in 2018, they will no longer accept the importation of post-consumer plastics and mixed paper unless they meet an essentially unattainable standard. This is having a major impact on haulers and local governments, including counties. As a result, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) recently held a stakeholder meeting that included the Association of Oregon Counties and numerous individual counties. A smaller, focused workgroup was formed and has led to DEQ releasing statewide guidance.
The DEQ guidance includes the option to landfill materials previously exported to China. DEQ is quick to note this is only a temporary solution and that stakeholders will be exploring many potential longer-term solutions. AOC and individual counties will stay engaged in working on this very important issue.
Below is a link to DEQ’s page on Recycling Markets: http://www.oregon.gov/deq/mm/
Contributed by: Mike Eliason | AOC Legislative Director