Profit hopes as recycling market recovers

The Waitaki Resource Recovery Trust’s income has nose-dived after the collapse of global recycling markets — but the trust says it is confident that markets are recovering and it will again return to profitability.

Once averaging $500,000 to $550,000 a year in revenue from paper, plastic and cardboard, Waitaki Resource Recovery Park chairman Neville Langrish details the revenue drop in a letter to the Waitaki District Council — to be tabled today — as he seeks further financial support for the 17-year-old trust.

Two years ago the combined income for the park from paper, plastic and cardboard dropped to $195,768; last year it dropped again to $96,864; and in the first four months of the 2019-20 year paper, plastic and cardboard had only brought in $7929, putting the trust on track to generate just $23,787.

‘‘To enable [the trust] to get through the next seven months’’, it has asked the council to increase the frequency of its quarterly grants of $60,500 and for another $120,000 to finish its Chelmer St site redevelopment.

‘‘With the current signs in market recovery we are hopeful for the year in 2021-22 that we can achieve a break-even result. Longer term, we have confidence we can return to profitability,’’ Mr Langrish said.

The trust received $40,000 in urgent financial assistance from the council in May.

In December last year, it received two one-off grants totalling $85,000 and an increase in funding by 10%, or $22,000, a year to $242,000 a year.

The council waives the lease on the Chelmer St site, which it values at $40,000, and gives $10,000 a year in maintenance.

The council has also already contributed $285,000 towards the redevelopment of the recovery park.

Council officers have recommended today’s funding request come from the council’s waste minimisation fund, which has a balance of about $260,000.

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