If no news is good news, than some news is bad news. In an article found in the U.S. edition of The Guardian, Chester finds itself in the crosshairs of a China issue with recycling.
Up until recently, China was okay with receiving recyclables from the U.S. Now they’ve put so many restrictions on the type of recyclables they’ll accept U.S. trash haulers are stuck finding new places to bring tons of plastic, glass and cardboard.
Why not Chester?
According to The Guardian…
The huge Covanta incinerator just outside Philadelphia, located in Chester City, Pennsylvania, is sent about 200 tons of recycling material every day since China’s import ban came into practice last year…
Has anyone noticed local trash collection is throwing the recycled trash you put in the blue receptacles in the same trash truck at the same time they are throwing your regular household garbage? That’s because municipalities are forced to pay so much more to dispose of their recycling that it’s become easier and cheaper to just mix all the trash together.
Some experts worry that burning plastic recycling will create a new fog of dioxins that will worsen an already alarming health situation in Chester. Nearly four in 10 children in the city have asthma, while the rate of ovarian cancer is 64% higher than the rest of Pennsylvania and lung cancer rates are 24% higher, according to state health statistics.
In the words of P. Diddy, the Cartel known as Covanta “Can’t Stop – Won’t Stop.”
Just a tiny fraction of the trash burned at the plant is from Chester – the rest is funneled in via truck and train from as far as New York City and North Carolina. The burning of trash releases a host of pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxides and particulate matter, which are tiny fragments of debris that, once inhaled, cause an array of health problems.
The Cartel says…
…pollution controls, such as scrubbers in smokestacks, will negate toxins emitted by recyclables. After passing through the emissions control system, the plant’s eventual output is comfortably below limits set by state and federal regulators, the company says, with emissions of dioxins far better than the expected standard.
You won’t find a bigger fan of the EPA than me. Since the 70s, the EPA has reduced and help control the levels of filth in the air, land and water in America. However, the EPA is not a health organization and although they dictate the presence of certain chemicals and compounds, in no way, shape or form are these limits set to eliminate a health risk. For the most part, their role is to reduce the risk to humans while still allowing corporations to make a profit. Could they tighten controls of more pollutants? Yes. Will it put corporations out of business and people out of work? Yes. May the squeakiest wheel get the oil.
The Guardian is a British publication with a U.S. affiliate. For them to bring this recycling issue up as a new national issue isn’t surprising. What is surprising (or not) is the only trash incinerator they mentioned, and the only city they photographed, and the only health stats they used, and the only people on the ground trying to do something about it, are all from Chester.
Can Chester Control the Cartel Called Covanta?