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America has a recycling problem — and China is making it worse

For the last 25 years, the U.S. has exported about one-third of its recycling, the majority of it going to China. Yet most Americans recycle without realizing the complex process behind the waste management system.

This year, new regulations from the Chinese government are limiting how much recycling the U.S. can send them. That’s creating financial challenges, especially for local communities who are starting to see the consequences in their own backyards.

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