How to survive the China Ban: Potential solutions

Posted by Tyler Munro on Thursday, November 15, 2018 12:06 PM

In our last article on surviving the China Ban, we identified the biggest recycling issue facing communities across the country: contamination.

This week, let’s look at ways you can confront contamination head on, whether it’s implementing recycling communication tools that can help your community right now, promoting organizations that can complement your efforts in the community, or exposing your residents to third-party sources of recycling information to keep them informed.

So here it is, everything you need to know.

baskets all day every day


Recycling communication tools

Recycle by City

Recycle by City partners with cities to provide residents with local disposal information, collection schedules and reminders, educational content, and quizzes. Though they’re only partnered with eight municipalities at the moment, they have ambitions to hit 50 in the next couple years. Their playful graphics and approachable copy position them as one of only a couple recycling communication tools emphasizing a resident-first approach to recycling.

Recycle Coach 

Yup, better bet we’re on this list.

One big difference between us and Recycle by City is the communication infrastructure we offer through our network, which makes it extremely easy for residents to find local information, from what is and isn’t recyclable in their community to the location of the nearest scrap drop-off depot. With collection reminders, calendars and notifications, we offer a wide-spectrum of services—even quizzes with questions tailored to your community. Beyond that, we’re always adding new educational content that appeals to different learning styles.

Community resources


Call2Recycle offers battery and mobile phone recycling programs across the U.S. and Canada, including some educational materials. Communities, organizations and companies can partner with them to make it easier for residents to safely dispose of batteries. A sure-fire way to ensure problem items like lithium-ion batteries don’t end up in the trash.


Freecycle is an online community over 9 million strong with members from all over the world. For lack of a better word, it’s a localized givers and getters network. Members of your community can use it to give away items that still have value, instead of throwing them away, or find items they might need for free. Raising awareness for communities like these is an easy way to divert waste from local landfills. Social media groups and online classifieds are other options. 

Recycle Across America

Recycle Across America has already made a huge impact on the world of waste and recycling and they’ve done it with a simple solution: by standardizing bin labels. Unfortunately, not all communities use the same labeling, which can be confusing. It also contributes to the misconception that recycling isn’t to be taken seriously. Standardized labels can go a long way to solving that.


TerraCycle has recycling programs for all those tricky items, like fluorescent bulbs and stand-up pouches. Individuals can work with them, but so can organizations and local governments.

Third-party information


Earth911 is an information network and an online community. They have a forum where users can share tips and tricks. They also maintain a pretty extensive recycling database, though it isn’t clear where their data comes from—or how accurate it is. As a general source of information, they’re great—but they certainly aren’t an authority on local recycling. Instead, the site offers quality supplementary information through some of its blogs and podcasts.

Recycle Nation

Recycle Nation, like Earth911, maintains its own search database. The data is all local. That said, none of it is authoritative. The organization gets its information from “large retailers, recycling location aggregators and private entities”. They also include a disclaimer noting that they “are not responsible for the accuracy of the information” they provide. Like Earth911, they include educational content for residents, including a podcast.

We'd love to learn more about your community's solid waste program. If you’re interested in learning a little more about us and how we can help you better face today's recycling challenges, feel free to click the button below, and we can book a time to chat.

About us

We save people time and energy with intuitive digital tools that make recycling easy. Our goal is to be in every city, on every device, empowering communities to work together to waste less and recycle more. We’re recycling simplified.

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Topics: contamination, China Ban, National Sword Ban

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