Exporting Recyclables Overseas: Essential Information for Ontario Recyclers

In a blog this spring, we provided information for programs that transport recyclables to markets in the U.S. With this blog, and with the input of Recyclable Materials Marketing (REMM), we present an essential companion piece that details what programs need to know about Exporting Recyclable Commodities Overseas from Canada.

For many years, programs have been content to know their materials were being managed by brokers or haulers, and sold to offshore markets, but without necessarily knowing the details of what’s involved. But with recent changes in the industry and particularly in the legal requirements of countries that receive shipments from Canada, this is no longer an option. Recycling program operators need to be aware of shipping processes and offshore requirements to ensure that the materials they collect from residents will be accepted and reprocessed as intended.

Knowledge contributes to success

Program operators that understand about shipping options, logistics and end market requirements and legislation are in the best position to protect their bales from rejection and strengthen the economics of their programs. Here’s just the tip of the iceberg of what you need to know.

Freight options: you can have a freight broker manage your loads but is this always the best arrangement for your program?

Logistics: what are the steps you need to take and what exact documentation is needed to start your bales on their way? What goes into a booking form? What photos do you need to document your load?

Exporters: what are their exact responsibilities to your program? How will they protect your load?

Overseas markets? What are top markets for Canadian recyclables? How can your loads be affected by overseas policies and what can you do to ensure successful marketing of your materials.

If you’re not clear on any of the above, Exporting Recyclable Commodities Overseas will answer your questions and provide the background that you need to consider in your program planning.

A word on China’s National Sword Campaign and Import Bans

You’re probably aware of Operation Green Fence that aimed to prevent contaminated loads from entering China in 2013. The 2017 “National Sword” campaign is even more aggressive and promises a ban on imports of four classes and 24 types of solid wastes including outright bans on some plastic materials, unsorted waste paper and waste textile materials, among others. Slated to come into effect on December 31, 2017, brokers are already reporting rejected loads and issues with shipments.

A new duty of care for recyclers

Shipping recyclables to offshore markets has been an attractive option for many years, offering the promise of recycling a wider array of materials at often, steady prices. While offshore markets continue to exist, all programs that are working with haulers or brokers that rely on these markets need to be aware of the many steps involved in shipping offshore and to find out exactly what they can do to protect viable end markets for their materials. We encourage you to review “Exporting Recyclable Commodities Overseas from Canada” and take time to speak with your haulers and brokers to find out exactly how they plan to manage loads from your program so that you can be in the best position to protect your materials and strengthen your blue box recycling program.

For more information:

Review: Exporting Recyclable Commodities Overseas from Canada and The Essentials of Transporting Recyclable Commodities from Canada to the U.S. and September 6 CIF Blog: Commodity Market Trends

Contact CIF staff for more information