State Actions to Address Recycling Market Changes

2021 Update

In 2019, the Sustainable Materials Management Task Force (SMM) within the Materials Management Subcommittee of the Association of State and Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials (ASTSWMO) reached out to States and Territories (States) to survey them about how they have responded to China’s import restrictions on certain recyclables, also known as China Sword. A matrix was developed to track actions taken at both the State and local government level, as applicable. The survey asked about more than 30 potential actions in eight categories: regulatory and law changes; compliance; recycling program changes; research; stakeholder work; outreach and education; market development; and fees and costs.


In September 2020, the SMM Task Force requested updates to the information provided in the matrix. The updated report includes information received in 2020 and 2021, and the original responses where new information was not provided.


While the 2020 update was designed to capture actions attributed to the import restrictions from National Sword and resulting market impacts, the survey included a section for States to add any comments they wished to share regarding COVID-19 impacts on waste and recycling programs in their States. Responses have been compiled in a separate tab in the full report.


The goal of gathering the information is to provide a helpful resource to State programs as we all navigate the ever-changing recycling landscape.


The results of the survey are presented below in two formats: 1) the Full Report, in an Excel file and 2) Maps.


Full Report

The December 2021 Excel file contains the full survey responses received by the ASTSWMO SMM Task Force. The information is arranged alphabetically by State as well as by EPA Region. Notes of actions are organized by State and by question.   To download the full report, click here.

Maps (2019 – 2021 Responses)

The following maps were created to present the data in a quickly digestible manner. They provide a general overview of State responses to categories noted above, as an introduction to the detailed information provided in the full report. The maps reflect the initial 2019 responses and updates provided through 2021.