Graham Christian for waste company Smart Environmentalsaid
paper and plastic stocks had started to build up since the ban.
paper's sitting under cover in big warehousing and the plastic
unfortunately is sitting out in the open environment," he said.
do have to make some decisions soon about what we will do with it.
We'll need to talk to our partner councils about leasing space at a
shared cost to store the product."
Christian said the price for most recyclable goods had halved since
the ban, but some products were worth nothing or even a negative
say the average long-run value of a tonne of paper is $150 -
currently it's at $60. Cardboard had historically gone up to $130 and
currently it's around the same value [$60] and mixed paper is at
zero, so each time we touch it we're adding cost."
said getting rid of rubbish in areas without a port cost more because
it had to be handled more times.
like Grey, Buller, the West Coast and also in the East and Waikato
like Thames-Coromandel we received products from eight different
councils and we are sitting on a very significant stockpile there."
said other Asian countries were accepting waste, but New Zealand
was competing for space with larger countries like the US and
being swamped by other countries and we're in a queue essentially."
chief executive Paul Evans said New Zealand needed to not rely so
heavily on exporting waste.
Evans said with a commitment from government the country could set up
its own internal systems.
need to stop thinking about how we stop being prone to fickle
overseas markets with low commodity prices and how we actually use
more of this material in New Zealand," he said.
requires a commitment from local government and government. If
you invest in a significant amount of plant to process this material,
if prices come back overseas and everyone runs away to those to get
the better price that puts the industry in a real challenging
said harsher product stewardship regulation would help bring down the
amount sent to be recycled in the first place.
brand owners can make whatever the heck they like, put that out to
the market and say 'it doesn't matter to me how that's recycled - I'm
not going to bear the cost of it'."
City Councillor Iona Pannett said increasing the waste disposal
levy from $10 per tonne of waste dumped at a landfill would
also be effective.
Pannett said it could go up eventually to $200 a tonne.
also said harsher regulations on selling products made with
unrecycled plastic would incentivise manufacturers to be mindful of
their waste production.
government could mandate and say plastic packaging has to be
recycled. The problem is that virgin plastic is cheaper and much
easier to use."
said the issue with waste stockpiling, was a good problem to have.