The Howard County Scoop on Recycling and China
We’ve heard you and understand that you have questions about how recyclables such as paper, cans and bottles are impacted by changes in the commodities markets. Recent import restrictions imposed by China resulted in a dramatic decrease of prices for commodities (especially paper). For example, paper decreased from $73/ton last year to $0 today. China had been receiving over 90% of the paper collected in Howard County; today it accepts none.
But wait! This does not mean you should stop recycling!
We are able to send those recyclables to other companies who can use them to make new products.
Howard County diverts about 30,000 tons per year of recyclables from the landfill, and we need you to keep recycling!
The basics are best! Paper, bottles and cans are easily recyclable when they are clean, dry and empty.
When in doubt, leave it out
– ‘wishcycling’ causes problems. And don't forget, many items can be recycled beyond the curb. Visit
for a great list of items that can be recycled at Alpha Ridge and through take-back programs. Our goal will always be to reuse, reduce and recycle to keep items out of the landfill.