State Actions to Address Recycling Market Changes

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.


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 Task Force developed an initial baseline of information starting in the summer of 2019. The Task Force will request updates from the States on a periodic basis.


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 February 2020 Excel file houses the full survey responses received by ASTSWMO. It provides both a broad and detailed perspective of State and Territorial responses to China’s import restrictions on certain recyclables. The information is arranged alphabetically by State as well as by EPA Region. An “S” indicates where actions are being taken by a State, and “L” indicates actions taken by local governments. Notes of actions are organized by State and by question.
To download the full report, click here.

Maps (February 2020)

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