With recycling's dirty truths exposed, Washington works toward a cleaner, more sustainable system

SEATTLE — In 2017, about three-quarters of the stuff Seattleites dumped in their blue recycling bins — from grocery store ads and crumpled cracker boxes to shampoo bottles and yogurt tubs — was shipped to China. These days, virtually none of it is. The majority of the material is being recycled much closer to home — at facilities across North America and, increasingly, right here in the Pacific Northwest.It’s a transformation that would have once seemed unthinkable. For more than two decades, China eagerly sought out the world’s paper and plastic waste and paid handsomely for it. Then, in 2018…

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