Recycled Waste Has Nowhere To Go

14:22' 01-05-2018
Australias waste recycling system has been thrown into disarray since 1 January, when China imposed import restrictions, excluding 99% of the recyclables that Australia previously sold to China.

    Kết quả hình ảnh cho China’s recycling ‘ban’ throws Australia into a very messy waste crisis

    Photo: ebonyhailey.com

    Last month, when Ipswich Council in Queensland declared recyclable waste would go straight to landfill, there was a brief flurry of panic that every Council in Australia would make the same decision. However, many Councils quickly affirmed they would attempt to maintain their recycling programs.

    The Victorian Government will provide a $13 million package for councils and industry to support kerbside recyclable collection until 30 June. The Government will also establish a recycling industry taskforce to develop a strategic plan for industry transition.

    Jenni Downes and Elsa Dominish, consultants with the Institute for Sustainable Futures, said in The Conversation that hopes are high that the federal government will step in and take a clear role. Councils and private waste operations cannot carry the cost.

    Federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg met with his state and territory counterparts on Friday 27 April to discuss the recycling crisis. It was agreed to manage this “urgent and important issue” by cutting Australia’s supply of waste, increase our recycling capability and increase the demand for recyclable products. Cooperation between all levels of government was necessary, and the feasility of converting waste to energy is being considered.

    Australia has limited local markets for household recyclables like paper, plastics and glass, so we rely heavily on overseas markets like China to buy and reprocess the waste. This, says Greens leader Richard Di Natale, is why we now have a problem.

    Mr Di Natale believes a $500 million investment in Australia's waste management system, spent over five years on infrastructure and programs, could replace the need to export recyclables. Suggested solutions include incentives to recycle drink containers, e-waste, fluorescent lights, tyres and mattresses, a Plastics Co-operative Research Centre to research plastic waste reduction, and refusing funding to state and local governments which do not commit to buy-recycle schemes.

    In the meantime, say Downes and Dominish, the public should keep on recycling, but recycle carefully. The main problem is not so much a ban on waste, as commonly reported, but a restriction on the level of contamination.

    To check exactly what can and can’t go in your kerbside recycling bin, use the RecycleSmart app at recyclingnearyou.com.au/recyclesmart, or check your council’s website. If in doubt, keep it out.

    Span Hanna

     

     

     

     

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Keywords: australiarecycled wastevictorian government

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