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KUOW's environment beat brings you stories on the ongoing cleanup of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, alternative energy, the health of the Puget Sound, coal transportation and more. We're also partnered with several stations across the Northwest to bring you environmental news via EarthFix.

Seattle: You need to clean up your recycling act

Have you wondered where your recycling goes once it's picked up? A KUOW listener was curious about that, so we asked Hans Van Dusen, the solid waste contracts manager at Seattle Public Utilities.

He tells Kim Malcolm about the journey our cans and paper takes. 

Van Dusen also breaks down the top mistakes Seattle residents make when it comes to what goes in those big blue bins, which is a problem because recycling companies can no longer ship materials to our largest market — China.

In January, the Chinese government banned some recyclables and increased their quality standards. Our region doesn't meet those new standards.

[asset-audio[{"description": "Kim Malcolm talks with Hans Van Dusen about Seattle's recycling woes with China.", "fid": "143821", "uri": "npraudio://201804/china_recycling_int.mp3"}]]And if you want to see how it all happens, here's a video from Seattle Public Utilities showing the recycling process: