News

China’s recycling controls add to cost

By Shepparton News

China’s tougher restrictions on recycling will cost the City of Greater Shepparton about $850000 a year for at least the next couple of years, Shepparton’s city engineer says.

Meanwhile, Greater Shepparton City Council recently struck a two-year deal with its existing recycling contractor, boosting reliability for the council for the time being.

The Victorian Government recently launched its $37million plan aimed at cutting the amount of recycling going to landfill and creating new markets for recycled products.

The announcement followed China’s decision this year to restrict the import of recyclable materials.

Under the Victorian Government’s plan, the quality of recycled material would be improved, opening the door for businesses to ‘‘add value’’ to recyclable material, to help meet China’s new requirements.

The package also aims to boost investment in recycling infrastructure through a $8.3million expansion to the Resource Recovery Infrastructure Fund.

The council deals with more than 7000tonnes of recycled material each year.

Greater Shepparton’s city engineer Phil Hoare said a tightening of the quality of the recycling material going into China would create an additional cost of recycling material each year, and that ongoing implications might depend on market forces.

But securing a new contract with the help of Victorian Government support would ensure increased certainty for the council, it said.

Council chief executive Peter Harriott emphasised the need to be flexible to go with changes, should situations change again.

But he said the new contract would allow ‘‘us to give a clear message to the community, that we’ve got in place systems that allow the seamless continuation of the recycling service’’.

‘‘Going forward, we need to see an industry that is less reliant on overseas markets, I guess,’’ he said.

‘‘That, combined with less packaging, is the way we need to go.’’