Saving kerbside recycling

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.

The status of C&I sorting in Australia

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).

MRA presents at WasteMINZ 2018 Conference

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.