You may have read that there’s a recycling crisis in the U.S. After years of accepting our used plastic and cardboard,China now won’t take it, which often means there is no place for it to go. Some city recycling programs—unable to find other buyers—have quietly started sending recyclables to incinerators or landfills, news that could make anyone question the point of separating your trash at all.
But the news is both worse—and better—than you might think. Recycling was broken in the U.S. long before China’s announcement, but there are promising technologies poised to revolutionize each point where our system currently fails. The question is, can the solutions scale fast enough to make a difference
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