Can we make recycling work?

Done right, recycling can reduce the environmental impact of the products we consume at every stage. But the ubiquitous blue bin for single-stream recycling obscures a set of tradeoffs and challenges, including contamination that complicates processing and lowers the value of recyclable materials. In addition, the economic model for recycling was shaken in 2018 when China stopped accepting most foreign recyclables. Ben Mattison from Yale Climate interviewed Robert Klee, a lecturer at Yale and the former commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, about what needs to be done to create a recycling system that works.



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