Re­cy­cling costs set to rise

Augusta Margaret River Times - - Front Page - War­ren Hately

Ratepay­ers could be fac­ing in­creased re­cy­cling costs and a push for manda­tory par­tic­i­pa­tion as the Shire of Au­gusta-Mar­garet River faces a ma­jor price jump due to a Chi­nese crack­down on im­ported waste.

Chal­lenges in WA’s re­cy­cling in­dus­try, mainly due to China put- ting strict lim­its on im­ported waste ma­te­ri­als, trig­gered the re­cent re­quest for a cost vari­a­tion which coun­cil­lors will con­sider next week.

Re­cy­cling com­pany Suez is seek­ing a 37 per cent in­crease for its kerb­side re­cy­cling ser­vice, with the Shire con­tract to ex­pire in June.

The cost could be passed on to ratepay­ers af­ter the next mid-year bud­get re­view, with the in­crease es­ti­mated at about $50,000 for six months ser­vice.

Fur­ther de­tails were cov­ered by com­mer­cial con­fi­den­tial­ity.

The change comes as elected mem­bers pre­pare to re­view their long-awaited waste fea­si­bil­ity study, ex­pected to guide the Shire’s waste man­age­ment ahead of the Davis Road tip reach­ing the end of its lifes­pan.

In­creased re­cy­cling costs seemed likely, as well as more ed­u­ca­tion for ratepay­ers and pos­si­ble manda­tory par­tic­i­pa­tion.

“The cur­rent fea­si­bil­ity study has ac­knowl­edged that the lack of a manda­tory re­cy­cling ser­vice is re­sult­ing in a lot of this ma­te­rial fill­ing up our land­fill in­stead of be­ing re­cy­cled,” the re­port said.

“It will be pro­posed that the Shire in­tro­duces manda­tory re­cy­cling to in­crease the re­cy­cling rate, and to in­crease the di­ver­sion of re­cy­clable ma­te­rial away from land­fill and min­imise the con­tam­i­na­tion of both bins.”

Feed­back from Suez, con­tained

in the coun­cil re­port, said waste from the South West was “more con­tam­i­nated than their Perth metro prod­uct”, and more work­ers, as well as an up­grade to its pro­cess­ing cen­tre, would im­prove ef­fi­ciency.

The news fol­lows fur­ther changes to re­cy­cling guide­lines, an­nounced just af­ter the Shire com­pleted its re­cent waste and re­cy­cling guide.

Last month, the Shire’s waste guide was up­dated on­line to re­flect a new agree­ment from WA’s main con­trac­tors about re­duc­ing yel­low-bin con­tam­i­na­tion, and which ma­te­ri­als had the best prospect of re­cy­cling.

Re­duc­ing waste to land­fill and over­all house­hold con­sump­tion was ex­pected to be cen­tral to the new waste strat­egy.

Although the Shire could quit the con­tract, a bet­ter price from other op­er­a­tors was un­likely, the re­port said.

“The re­sult­ing im­pact for lo­cal govern­ments is the pass­ing on of in­creased sort­ing costs which is driv­ing up the col­lec­tion costs,” the re­port said.

“At the cur­rent col­lec­tion rates, it is not vi­able for Aus­tralian re­cy­clers to col­lect and process ma­te­ri­als that would be de­liv­ered to the mar­ket at a profit.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.