Recycling In The Dumps  

Posted by Big Gav in

The SMH reports that the recycling industry is wondering what to do with excess material now demand from China has dried up - What a waste - Recycling in the dumps.

AUSTRALIA'S recycling effort is on the brink of collapse, as ripples from the global financial crisis start lapping against kerbside rubbish collection.

Householders who sort bottles and newspapers into coloured bins may not know the waste is likely to go into fast growing stockpiles because prices for used plastic, cardboard, paper and many scrap metals have fallen by up to 75 per cent since October.

This has made it cheaper in some regions to send sorted rubbish to landfill rather than recycling stations, industry sources have told the Herald.

Councils are calling for an overhaul of the recycling system and federal regulations that would ease the load by forcing companies to use less packaging.

"This crisis has highlighted the weakness in the system, with communities already carrying the burden of recycling costs," said the president of the NSW Local Government Association, Genia McCaffery.

China's thirst for recyclable waste, which has helped sustain the industry for years, has dried up. But the chairman of an environment organisation in Sydney, Do Something, said Australia needed to wean itself off dependence on China.

"To do that, we need to boost our local recycling markets as much as possible," said Jon Dee. "It's vital that householders and businesses continue to recycle their waste. From a climate change point of view, we can't afford to start sending recyclable waste to landfill."

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