Why Sacramento County dumped 290 tons of recyclables in a landfill

For one week in early February, roughly one-third of all recyclables collected by Sacramento County — an estimated 290 tons — was packed into trucks and dumped at a county landfill.

The amount of cardboard, newspapers, bottles and cans taken to the landfill totaled about 8.5 percent of the 3,400 tons of recyclables collected monthly, said Doug Sloan, director of the county’s Department of Waste Management and Recycling.

. . . The issue comes as the value of recyclables has plunged and municipalities across the West Coast are under pressure from China to produce recycling loads with fewer contaminants. Sacramento County will see a swing from its recycling earning $1 million to costing the county $1 million annually.

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