Councils say lack of funding and rock-bottom recycling prices is hampering efforts to build better infrastructure and reinvigorate dying market.
‘You can only recycle something or a product if there is a market for it. If there is no market for it, then of course you have to send it to landfill.’ Photograph: Carly Earl for the Guardian
Recycling is being stockpiled and council authorities fear it will soon head to landfill, as Australia’s recycling crisis continues to take its toll on the industry.
More than a year after China refused to accept 99% of the world’s recycling, halting the export of more than one million tonnes of Australian waste each year, the heads of local government warn the recycling market is still in trouble.
Waste crisis: where’s your recycling going now?
On 1 January 2018, China’s National Sword policy forced Australia to rethink its decade-long reliance on exporting thousands of tonnes of plastic, paper and cardboard.
While the obvious solution would be to better develop the domestic recycling industry, councils say a lack of funding, coupled with rock-bottom recycling prices, is hampering efforts to build better infrastructure and reinvigorate a dying market.