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How companies commodify your recycled waste

May 3, 2023
We tour a materials recovery facility in California, where the stuff consumers toss into recycling bins is sorted.
Athens Services, a Southern California waste collection an recycling company, is just one part of a global system that recycles waste into new packaging and products.
Antoinette Brock/Marketplace

Keeping the family recycling business afloat

Nov 29, 2018
There have been rough years before, but this year may be the toughest.
SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Poor recycling practices mean more is getting landfilled

Aug 3, 2018
China used to be a dumping ground for waste, but new policies have closed off the major market.
Workers sort contaminated and recyclable materials at the Puente Hills Materials Recovery Facility. 
Jed Kim/Marketplace

China is drowning in a sea of cardboard — so is the U.S.

Online shopping comes with a lot of packaging, and that packaging is becoming a problem.
Chinese laborers load cardboard onto a truck to be recycled in the Dong Xiao Kou village in Beijing in 2014.
Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

The lucrative crime of cardboard theft

Aug 6, 2012
For most people, cardboard is... just there. But stealing cardboard can be a relatively easy -- and surprisingly profitable -- crime.