Recycling takes a hit from coronavirus

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As people stay home during the pandemic, they’re generating more waste. In the City of Los Angeles, garbage trucks have been authorized to pick up extra bags of trash in residential areas. Photo by Caleigh Wells.

Stay-at-home orders mean a lot more trash around the house. Extra food packages, more cleaning products, and the return of  flimsy single-use plastic bags are all hallmarks of the pandemic, and they’re piling up in our wastebaskets. While a fair amount of the things we’re tossing are recyclable, workers at recycling plants are being forced to adapt to physical distancing. That’s slowed down an already struggling recycling system.