A pile of debris including all kinds of plastics grows hourly at Omni Recycling, a materials recovery facility in Pitman, N.J. Plastic bags are especially problematic because they can get caught in the conveyor belts and equipment and gum up the recycling process.
Trash sent for recycling moves along a conveyor belt to be sorted at Waste Management's material recovery facility in Elkridge, Md. In 2018, China announced it would no longer buy most plastic waste from places like the United States.
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A row of new reverse vending machines, which collect drink containers for recycling, greets customers at the grand opening of the BottleDrop Redemption Center in Medford, Ore.
Jes Burns/Oregon Public Broadcasting
Because of layers of material that can be difficult to separate, many containers for juices and broths have traditionally been destined for landfills. But recycling them is getting easier.
A grande Cafe Nero, large Costa Coffee and venti-sized Starbucks to-go cups sold in London. The U.K. Parliament is considering a tax on disposable cups in an effort to cut down on waste.
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At Resource Management's materials recovery facility, workers pull plastic bags, other trash and large pieces of cardboard off the conveyor belts before the mixed single-stream recyclables enter the sorting machines.
Véronique LaCapra/St. Louis Public Radio