China Wants Your Cardboard: Extra Income in Your Pocket
The unemployed have found a nifty way to earn supplemental income to their UI paychecks, sometimes, substantially. You can thank China for that.
China, although vast, lacks forests and recycling of paper type products. These products are cardboard, phone books, catalogs and other related material. China's markets have exploded as have their population demands, hence, the need for packaging material such as cardboard. China does make their boxes and other packaging material but there is simply not enough, hence, they come to America in search of our waste.
China is paying about $228 for each ton of cardboard found at large urban recycling locations accepting this material. Currently, in the LA area, Long Beach and LA ports are the busiest container ports. One exporter of this material is Newport International in Orange, CA. Another is Sonoco Products of Hartsville, North Carolina. Both cannot get enough scrap to ship to China.
Single recyclers visit stores to find their waste cardboard, which is significant. They then haul it to a nearby recycling yard and can easily earn another $100 to help pay bills. Many do this all day, just like a real job. Stores like their waste cardboard to be taken away and freely give it away to those wanting it.
The ironic thing about this remains that Chinese products often return to the US in our former waste cardboard!