Chesapeake, Virginia-based TFC Recycling has decided to terminate its contract to process recyclables collected through the curbside recycling program of the city of Norfolk, Virginia.
According to an online article from Norfolk-based WTKR-TV, TFC Recycling pointed to challenges in exporting collected material with high contamination rates, even after processing it. In 2017 and 2018, China has increasingly tightened its restrictions on plastic scrap imports, and this year several nearby Asian countries also have erected barriers to the imports.
The contract between TFC Recycling and the city of Norfolk allowed the recycler to opt out with three months’ notice, according to the TV station. Norfolk is reportedly seeking a new recycling firm to accepts its recyclables by November.
A TFC Recycling vice president quoted by the TV station said items that don’t belong in a recycling bin have become commonplace in Norfolk and some other cities erved by the firm. Reporters from the station say they saw “a basketball, luggage and lots of plastic bags” among the unwanted items at a TFC Recycling facility.
The TFC Recycling vice president, Paul Stacharcyzk, also asked viewers and readers to avoid placing pizza boxes and other items contaminated with food into the bin, since “there’s no market for that.”
The report indicates TFC Recycling and the city of Norfolk could re-enter a contract, but TFC Recycling’s Stacharcyzk said Norfolk residents will have to concentrate on placing exclusively “paper, bottles and cans” into bins for the agreement to work.