MRA’s Mike Ritchie was interviewed by Footprint news on the “chain of responsibility” clauses that Australian councils have started adding to their tender documents for recycling services.
Sustainability Victoria is providing a $4 million funding boost for major recycling projects that aim to increase resource recovery. These fourth round grants of between $40,000 and $500,000 are aimed at business and local governments that aim to increase sorting and reprocess priority materials.
Since Mike’s article on Saving Kerbside Recycling was written, the Victorian EPA has temporarily closed down the three SKM MRFs in Melbourne, due to fire risk associated with stockpiles.
Over 20 Councils have either suspended their kerbside recycling services or they are sending their recyclables to landfill.
It has now been over a year since China introduced its National Sword policy to restrict the importation of kerbside recyclable materials from the rest of the world. The purpose of the policy was to increase the recovery of domestically generated recyclables within China and further boost its own manufacturing. The new rule is a 0.5% contamination rate in Australian exported material. Few Australian Materials Recovery Facilities (MRF) were built for that level of purity.
With landfill levies in NSW at $140.20/t you would think that sorting of commercial waste would be more common than it is. Less than 5% of the Commercial and Industrial (C&I) waste in NSW is put through a processing plant to recover the valuable materials. In other words, less than 120,000t of the 5.5 MT that is generated is put through a processing plant. There are no dedicated C&I sorting facilities in other States (and landfill levies are lower).
The annual WasteMINZ Conference (5-8 November 2018) is wrapping up in Christchurch at the Air Force Museum of New Zealand and Mike was amongst the first to present on its second day. Mike outlined the challenges and impacts of China’s National Sword policy on local recycling markets and described the industry’s current and potential responses.
MRA’s Mike Ritchie presented yesterday at the International Solid Waste Association 2018 World Congress held at Kuala Lumpur. Mike’s presentation focused on China’s National Sword and its impact on Australia’s recycling.