Many residents have asked me about the current recycling guidelines. I had the opportunity to attend a seminar that was hosted by the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District. They wanted to provide an update on the current curbside recycling programs in the wake of the China National Sword policy implemented in January 2018.

In 2013, China launched a temporary customs program called “Operation Green Fence” aimed at increasing environmental quality by reducing waste importation and contamination in the recyclable materials. In 2017, China announced more stringent restrictions called “National Sword.” This policy banned the import of several recyclable materials from all countries including mixed paper and mixed plastics on January 1, 2018 and reduced the level of contamination in scrap and recyclable materials not banned to 0.5 percent effective March 1, 2018. China also imposed tariffs on many recyclables, specifically from the United States including cardboard, other recovered fibers, metals, and plastics in August 2018.

As China was a major purchaser of recyclable materials from North America and around the world, the China National Sword policy resulted in significant reduction in demand for these materials and the prices paid for them. In addition, the extremely new contamination rate of 0.5 percent forced managers of materials recovery facilities that processed recyclables collected through municipal recycling programs to reexamine the sources and causes of contamination in their recovered materials. The major recycling commodities that have been impacted by this policy have been mixed paper, mixed plastics and corrugated containers. This has resulted in about a 50 percent reduction in the revenues received from the sale of recyclables recovered through curbside recycling. You can go online at to learn more.

Remember Halloween is Thursday, Oct. 31 from 6-8 p.m. Please be safe and enjoy the evening. Also, remember to vote Tuesday, Nov. 5.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me by phone at 440-554-6095 or by email at