Recycling needs not yet met

The Port Lincoln City Council continues to look at the future of recyclable materials after the introduction of an overseas ban on the importation of Australia's waste. 

Since the introduction of China's National Sword policy in 2017 restricting imported contaminated waste, many city councils were left stranded with higher costs.

Business manager for infrastructure and regulatory services at the Port Lincoln city council Jade Scott said they were already budgeting for higher costs for transport to Adelaide for recycling to be processed there, and were largely unaffected by the ban.  

However, Ms Scott said there were genuine concerns about the future financial viability of resource recovery operations in the state. 

"Since there is no regional processing options for recyclables on Eyre Peninsula, our costs have always been higher than metropolitan Adelaide, due to the transport factor and thus we have not experienced the dramatic changes that some Adelaide Councils are now experiencing," she said.

The solid waste levy rose by 15 per cent on July 1, 2018 generating an additional $3 million annually for the state's Green Industries Fund.

She said the council supported the $108 million Green Industries Fund being utilised to develop new technologies and support regional councils in assessing options to divert waste from landfill.

"The city of Port Lincoln is closely observing other councils such as the City of Onkaparinga who have just built South Australia’s first road constructed out of binned plastic and glass," she said. 

"Other future options may also include containerisation of waste for reuse and recycling (in Adelaide) if new port developments are created to replace road transport.

"In short, the Eyre Peninsula as a region would need to work together to attract local recycling processing technologies as our volumes generated are small (relatively speaking) and geographically spread out."