Responsible Recycling Task Force
In April 2018, SWAC and MSWMAC formed the Responsible Recycling Task Force (task force) to respond to changes in international recycling markets and develop a coordinated approach to improving recycling in the region. The task force consists of representatives from King County, the City of Seattle, cities in King County, solid waste haulers, and stakeholders.
The creation of the task force is a result of changes in international recycling markets, specifically new rules China put in place to restrict the amounts and types of recyclables imported there for processing. With the region's reliance on China as the single-largest consumer of recyclables, the new policies are causing disruption to international recycling markets for mixed paper, mixed plastics, and other materials.
In response to this, the task force will identify common ground for advancing recycling in light of China's restrictions on acceptable recyclables, focusing on immediate, mid-tern, and long-term actions. The task force has committed to meeting until at least October, at which time it will prepare a report outlining actions and recommendations the region can take to improve recycling practices and enhance domestic recycling markets. The report will be submitted to King County and its advisory committees for consideration. Read the Responsible Recycling Task Force Recommendations Report Download PDF 450 K.
To ensure future recommendations address this issue holistically, the task force will use a responsible recycling framework that includes:
- Focusing on the quality vs. quantity of recyclables.
- Using consistent messaging across the region.
- Prioritizing domestic processing and markets.
- Considering the social and environmental effects of exporting recyclables.
- Creating domestic demand for recyclables.
- Realizing and accepting responsible recycling is not free.
- Measuring real recycling.
Meeting minutes & presentations
- Dec. 13, 2019 Responsible Recycling Symposium presentation Download PDF 4 MB
- Dec. 14, 2018 meeting minutes Download PDF 200 K
- Dec. 14, 2018 meeting presentation Download PDF 250 K
- Nov. 15, 2018 meeting minutes Download PDF 275 K
- Nov. 15, 2018 meeting presentation Download PDF 1 MB
- Oct. 26, 2018 meeting minutes Download PDF 250 K
- Oct. 26, 2018 meeting presentation Download PDF 3 MB
- Sept. 19, 2018 meeting minutes Download PDF 250 K
- Sept. 19, 2018 meeting presentation Download PDF 4.5 MB
- Aug. 24, 2018 meeting minutes Download PDF 275 K
- Aug. 24, 2018 meeting presentation Download PDF 3.3 MB
- July 18, 2018 meeting minutes Download PDF 250 K
- July 18, 2018 meeting presentation Download PDF 2 MB
- June 18, 2018 meeting minutes Download PDF 250 K
- June 18, 2018 meeting presentation Download PDF 1 MB
- June 1, 2018 meeting minutes Download PDF 250 K
- June 1, 2018 presentation Download PDF 1.2 MB
- April 30, 2018 meeting minutes Download PDF 200 K
- April 30, 2018 presentation Download PDF 2.5 MB
Reports and other documents
- Responsible Recycling Task Force Recommendations Report Download PDF 550 K
- King County Paper Recycling Report Download PDF 450 K
- National Recycling Coalition, Quarterly Markets Development Webinar – Focus on China's Import Restrictions Initiative Download PDF 2 MB
- Catalog of Paper Mills Download PDF 100 K
- Responsible Recycling Task Force Problem Statement Download PDF 125 K
- Nov. 20, 2018: King County solid waste advisory committees adopt first recommendations to make regional recycling more successful
- Sept. 25, 2018: New campaign and webpage spread the message of how to ‘Recycle Right’
- June 8, 2018: Recycling task force focusing on near-term solutions to market changes in King County
- April 19, 2018: King County forms task force to seek solutions to China recycling import restrictions
King County Recycling Project Manager
King County Solid Waste Division
Telephone: 206-477-5286 | Fax: 206-296-0197
TTY Relay: 711