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[greenyes] URGENT! NZ Glass Recycling crisis

Apologies for Cross-Postings

If you have any suggestions on how NZ can respond to these glass recycling problems, please email Jo@no.address (Jo Knight, CEO, ZW NZ Trust).



To: "Zero Waste Update" <the.editor@no.address>
Organization: Zero Waste New Zealand Trust
From: "Suzi Phillips" <the.editor@no.address>
Subject: URGENT ! Zero Waste E-News Bulletin #16
Date: Wed, 1 Dec 2004 12:05:06 +1300

Dear Zero Wasters,

Highlights of this Zero Waste E-news Bulletin are;

? Glass recycling dealt blow by price reductions for cullett
? Community groups also under siege from funding cuts and concern about steel can recycling

1. Glass recovery and recycling in New Zealand has been dealt a blow by the country?s only major glass recycler.
ACI Glass has a monopoly on processing large quantities of glass cullett from around New Zealand and has just announced major price drops effective from January
From that date the company will reduce the price it pays for all glass cullett from $92 per tonne to $75 per tonne.
The company is also signalling a further substantial drop in the price paid for clear glass cullett (effective on May 1) from $75 per tonne to $10 per tonne.
The price drops will have major repercussions on the economic viability of local government and community group glass recycling schemes around the country, says Zero Waste New Zealand Trust chief executive, Jo Knight.
In the short term, contractors and community groups will be looking at renegotiating contracts with their councils.
?This will put the assurances made in the Packaging Accord to the test. Fifty per cent of councils in New Zealand signed up to the Packaging Accord on the proviso that it was not going to cost them more.?
The Packaging Council is meeting to try and put in place some short and long term solutions, but they have a very short time span in which to work before the price changes come into effect.
?This is a nasty surprise for all parties, and the short time frame means there is a need for interim co-operative solutions, such as collecting and land-banking glass in the meantime. This is a strong case for extended producer responsibility and/or container deposit legislation, in the New Year,? says Jo.
This problem illustrates New Zealand?s vulnerability to market forces and the real need for an adequately funded flexible infrastructure, including over-arching waste legislation.
?The worst case scenario is a breakdown in glass recycling in New Zealand with an increase in glass to landfill. Although glass is an inert material in a landfill, recycling glass is a behavioural change that was hard to achieve and it would be a devastating backward step, if that was lost," she says.

Please email us with your views.

Best Regards,
Suzi Phillips
Communications Co-ordinator,
Zero Waste NZ Trust
PO Box 33 1695
Ph 09-486-0738

Gary Liss
Fax: 916-652-0485

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