The government of New South Wales, Australia, is setting aside $47 million to help various groups deal with the transition in the face of China’s National Sword policy. The money will assist consumers, local councils and the waste industry.
China was by far the most popular destination for Australian plastic, paper and metal waste, making the new reality especially difficult for many in the recycling industry.
The rescue package comes as the result of several tense meetings with local councils and industry groups, in which many people expressed fears that citizens could lose faith in recycling as a system.
The Sydney Morning Herald has more information:
Fairfax Media revealed last month that NSW, Victorian and Commonwealth officials had been told Australia’s entire kerbside recycling system was at risk and only months remained before stockpiling limits are reached at recycling facilities.
Fire and Rescue told the officials it was planning for an increase in dangerous waste fires because of the growing mountains of recycled waste for which there is currently no market in Australia.
The crisis is expected to put further pressure on landfills including in Queensland, where Premier Anastacia Palaszczuk this week announced a plan to reintroduce a waste levy to clamp down on the cross-border waste trade.
Victoria in January launched a $13 million emergency package to shore up local councils and the waste industry until June 30, the earliest date that councils can raise rates. They are expected to put up the charges by about 4.5 per cent to cover the increased costs of processing waste.