MSW Management

I Should Be on the List

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Imagine you’ve cleaned yourself up nicely for a fancy evening event that is invitation only. You’re wearing your best “invitation only fancy evening event” duds. You may have even bought a new pair of shoes for the occasion.

When you drive up, you pass the parking lot and go straight to valet parking. You tip the valet and slip the ticket stub he gave you into your inside suit pocket and stride toward the front door. Once there, you say your name confidently projecting to the well-groomed person holding a clipboard.

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This is when your rhythm is thrown way off. That’s because you’re told that yes, you are on the guest list, but you are not on the VIP list. Regular guests can’t enter for another half hour.

I’m wondering if this is an apt analogy for ferrous and non-ferrous scrap metals being exported to China. According to S&P Global, China has taken eight kinds of solid waste, including ferrous, copper, and aluminum scrap, off of the list of unrestricted waste. Starting July 1, they will be on the list of restricted waste material and thus subject to government approvals.

The S&P Global article says:

“The restrictions follow the ministry’s July 2017 announcement that it would take steps to limit the import of foreign waste, including one last April that saw the banning of imports of 16 waste products effective December 31, 2018, such as waste car parts, electrical appliances and ship scrap, as S&P Global Platts had earlier reported.

China’s clampdown on waste imports impacted Japanese exporters of mixed metal scrap, which had been sending end-of-life household and office equipment to China for processing. Such scrap subsequently made their way via Japanese exports into the mainstream ferrous scrap supply pool of other countries that buy Japanese scrap, upsetting mills that end up consuming them, including those in South Korea, Vietnam, and Taiwan.

This led to a ripple effect, which saw Vietnam implementing more stringent inspections on scrap imports, on concerns it would become the next destination for the type of material that China has refused to import, leading to more onerous and time-consuming customs checks.”

From January to November of last year, China only imported 1.23 million metric tons of ferrous scrap. That’s a drop of 41% from 2017.

The problem with not being on the VIP list for an invitation only, fancy evening event is that by the time I do get in, they might be out of all the good hors d’oeuvres.

What are your thoughts on China increasing restrictions on scrap imports? Please let me know in the comment section below. MSW_bug_web

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  1. China is entitled to determine what it will or will not import, as are any other countries. The problem is going to be that impoverished nations will eventually be utilized as the dumping grounds for these hard to recycle waste streams with serious questions regarding the hazardous materials they may contain. Some official will eventually take a payment to allow these shipments into their countries interior at the expense of its citizens. Then the U.S. will be blamed for taking advantage of these impoverished citizens by forcing this hazardous waste into their backyard to avoid having to expend money to handle the material itself.

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