Waste Recycling is under threat from many directions and urgently requires practical and cost effective solutions. Actions are underway to better manage this international issue, but there are many local challenges.
The introduction of National Sword restrictions on the import of recyclables to China has permitted some commentators to call for recyclables to be used in Energy from Waste (EfW) facilities. Several have proposed EfW as a solution for plastic, paper and cardboard. While EfW is higher up the waste hierarchy and beneficial over landfill (it recovers the full energy value), I caution against this line of argument.
On 15 October, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) released a copy of its report ‘Towards a pollution-free planet’.
The report links consumption to waste and then to pollution, with one of the five key messages being: A new approach to managing our lives and economies: sustainable consumption and production, through improved resource efficiency and lifestyle changes, should be promoted; waste reduction and management must be prioritised.
The Waste Management Association of Australia (WMAA) Waste of Origin pledge is an excellent initiative taken by industry to resolve a problem that others will not. The problem of waste flooding in to Queensland landfills to take advantage of the fact that no landfill levy exists in the state.
According to an ABC report on the 8th of August, the Queensland Premier was “horrified” to hear of the extent of dumping of waste from NSW in Queensland. The Queensland government was “not aware … until it was highlighted on the Four Corners program…”
A Four Corners waste industry exposé highlighted legitimate and serious problems, but was grossly unfair to NSW senior bureaucrat Steve Beaman, according to a leading environmental consultant.
Friday 17th March, marked the deadline for tender submissions to operate the NSW Container Deposit Scheme (CDS). Next steps will be the appointment by the Minister of the Scheme Coordinator and Network Operators in June 2017. By 1 December 2017, over 430 Collection Points need to be established. This article sets out the basics of the Scheme.