You'll soon pay more to recycle. Why? China

Posted at 3:42 PM, May 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-18 18:07:45-04

LARGO, Fla. -- It will soon cost you more to recycle… and you can blame: China. The country is no longer taking our recyclables, and now communities across the world are scrambling.

Largo is one of the first cities in Tampa Bay to announce a 20% proposed hike on your garbage bill starting this October, and that’s partly because of the situation in China. 

If you live in an unincorporated area and pay directly to a hauler, you could expect to pay more soon too. 

China is now banning 24 types of solid waste, including some paper and plastic products, and that’s causing big piles to stack up at recycling centers across the United States.

The country, which takes in about half of the world’s recyclable materials, started banning products from several nations earlier this year. 

In Largo, city leaders were told if they want to keep using the same facility to drop off recyclables, it would cost them more than $350,000 a year in tipping fees. Largo hasn't increased the garbage rate in 10 years and says collecting recyclables has become more expensive and the situation in China is only making things worse. 

China claims the ban is because too many recyclables they receive are contaminated but many analysts wonder if it's the country's way of getting back at the US for implementing new tariffs on imported goods.