No Efforts to Recycle Going to ‘Waste’

No Efforts to Recycle Going to ‘Waste’


Some Alameda residents have expressed concern regarding a recycling crisis begun when China refused to receive American recyclables last year as a tactic in trade negotiations. Called interchangably the “National Sword” and “Blue Sky” initiatives, some residents have suggested these efforts have caused local garbage collectors to co-mingle landfill and recycling waste. Officials insist no changes have occurred with Alameda’s garbage or recycling service provided by Alameda County Industries (ACI).

“ACI hasn’t been forced to landfill anything ... yet,” stated Kerry Parker, a program specialist with the City of Alameda’s Public Works Department. “We are lucky to be in a region that has some great minds brokering the sale of recyclables to other identified markets for now.”

Parker went on to explain that city staff and ACI management participate in a regional Alameda County National Sword Task Force. The task force meets quarterly to connect collectors with cities “specifically to troubleshoot these issues.”  

Parker reminds Alameda residents proper sorting is crucial to collectors like ACI. Keeping items clean also helps. 

A large problem ACI deals with regularly is called “wishcycling” — putting just about anything in the recycling bin in hopes it will be recycled. Items that are not recyclable cause contamination, can damage sorting machinery and make it so recyclables end up in a landfill. Keep items like CDs, crockery, shrink wrap and styrofoam out of the recycling waste stream. 

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