Minnesota Businesses Seeing Big Changes Because of Shift in Chinese Recycling Policy

July 12, 2018 10:14 PM

More than 260 Minnesota companies use recycled materials to manufacture their products.

Now some small businesses in the state are seeing big changes because of a recent policy shift on recycling in China.

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"Our plant is a small footprint," said Todd Maass, the owner of INSOLUTION Manufacturing LLC in Loretto.

RELATED: Proposed Becker Recycling Facility Raises Air Quality Concerns

The company takes old paper and turns it into "cellulose insulation" for use in roofing in businesses and homes.

"We are looking for big things and some big changes for INSOLUTION."

Wayne Gjerde, the Recycling Market Development Coordinator with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, explained China's recent shift in policy on recyclable materials.

RELATED: Hennepin County Could Change How Residents Recycle

"China used to take a lot of our materials," he said. "The market has permanently changed, permanently changed. They will not take that material unless it is in a prepared form.

"So in the case of paper, it has to be all high-grade office."

Maass said that's a big gain for his business.

"Our paper prices this time last year were right around $110 a ton," he said. "Now, on the top side, it's between $25 and $40 a ton."

Which means he can afford to buy more.

Maass said before, the company could only afford 40 to 60 truckloads. But now that number is expected to double. In turn, his team can create more insulation.

"It allows us to go after some of the business we weren't able to probably get in the past," Maass said.

Maass said the policy change is allowing his company to grow so much, it's set to open an expanded facility this fall.

Credits

Brandi Powell

Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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