Stockpiled recycling will not be put in the landfill if
no new market can be found, the Dunedin City Council says.
It is not known what will happen to the giant mound of
plastic, but the council has told its contractors putting it
in the landfill was ''not an option''.
About 150 tonnes of recyclable plastic types 3 to 7 is being
stored at the council's Green Island plant while China, the
city's main market, continues to reject imports of some
recyclable plastics because of minor contamination from other
The position has put off the brokers who sell Dunedin's
recyclable plastic from sending the material to China in case
it was rejected, prompting them to seek new markets.
Council solid waste manager Ian Featherston this week updated
councillors on the situation, and addressed staff concerns
about the lack of revenue from recycling.
He said it was hoped China would drop its ''green fence'' in
November after a review.
He told Cr Jinty MacTavish, who raised the question of
alternative plans for the waste, that he expected to hear
from the contractors before other options for the material
Dunedin's recyclables were collected by EnviroWaste and
sorted by Fullcircle Recycling, which on-sell the plastics to
brokers in Australia.
Selling Dunedin's material to South Korea or India had been
Indications were that there were issues there, too, in that
the market was quite specific, which might require resorting
of the stockpile.
In the meantime, contractors had assured the council they
could store, without issue, the estimated 200 tonnes of
plastic waste that could be on the site by November.
Cr Lee Vandervis raised the issue of the fire risk associated
with the pile, to which Mr Featherston said contractors were
aware of it and were managing it.
Councillors were warned that should the issue not be resolved
and revenue from sales not regained, targeted rates for
kerbside recycling would have to increase next year by $5 to
$69 a year to cover the cost of the service.
To an inquiry from Mayor Dave Cull, Mr Featherston said that
would still be less than the $73 per ratepayer per year it
would cost to dispose of the plastics in the landfill.