TRASH TRAGEDY

Above: Squashed piles of metal cans are stacked one on top of the other in Freeland, Washington at Island Recycling. These non contaminated metal bales are sold, and sometimes given, to buyers who reuse the material in other products.
Left: David Campbell sits in front of the recycled materials from across Whidbey Island, Washington. Once a profitable business, Island Recycling is now a money pit where valueless contaminated recyclables and mixed paper collect endlessly.
Left: Cans with paper wrappers attached pile up at Island Recycling. Similar to mixed paper, contaminated cans are not wanted by most buyers, and must be sold at a minimal price, or disposed of at the expense of Island Recycling.
Above: Island Recycling allows Whidbey Island residents to drop off their recycling for a small price. The facility is now overcrowded with materials because China, the world’s biggest buyer of recyclables, is cutting down on the amount of contaminated materials they will buy.

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