recycling

Plastic garbage from Trader Joe's and an AARP card are peeking out of hillocks of plastic trash piling up in Indonesia.

It's a sign of a new global quandary: What should wealthy countries do with their plastic waste now that China no longer is buying it?

For years, America sold millions of tons of used yogurt cups, juice containers, shampoo bottles and other kinds of plastic trash to China to be recycled into new products.

And it wasn't just the U.S. Some 70 percent of the world's plastic waste went to China – about 7 million tons a year.

The University of Georgia recently released a study showing that an estimated 111 million metric tons of plastic garbage will pile up around the world by 2030. Plastic waste that could be recycled ends up in the oceans and in landfills, and there are plastics that can’t be recycled at all.

Wind energy is still relatively new in the United States, but there’s a big problem ahead for the industry — what to do with the 170-foot, 22,000-pound blades when they need to be taken down and replaced.

Many landfills won’t take them, and the fiberglass materials are difficult to recycle.

Here & Now‘s Peter O’Dowd asks Karl Englund, an engineering professor at Washington State University, about the industry’s attempts to the solve the problem before it becomes a crisis.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The price of oil has been on a downward dive for a couple years now, and one business hit especially hard by low oil prices is the recycling business. Here's Stacey Vanek Smith from our Planet Money team.

It's easy to think we're being virtuous when we fill up the blue recycling bin and put it on the curb. But it's clear we have embraced some magical thinking when it comes to what can be recycled.

Morning Edition asked its social media followers to share what puzzles them the most about the recycling process. Then, NPR's Dianna Douglas visited a waste management plant in Elkridge, Md., to get the answers from Michael Taylor, director of recycling operations for the plant.

Recycling in Oklahoma City leaves a lot to be desired especially if you live in multi-family units, such as apartments.

And, as John and Elizabeth Tankard explains it can be even worse if you choose to go Carless in OKC.

What does it take to live without a car in OKC?  The Tankards are trying to find out. You can read all about their experiences at carlessinokc.blogspot.com.