China waste ban to hit WA

China’s foreign waste ban could see an increase in Perth’s household waste charges and see recycling rates fall.

The Chinese Government has said it would stop accepting recycled waste such as papers and plastics from overseas countries from the end of the year.

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This move will have a major impact on Perth’s resource recovery centres, which collect recyclable waste for city councils and process it into products that can be sold.

With sales under threat as a result, it could lead to higher household recycling charges.

Data from the most recent census has shown that Perth has the lowest recycling rate compared to the other major Australian cities. If recovery centres lose momentum, the amount of waste sent to the tip could increase.

State Environment Minister Stephen Dawson told News Corp the decision is a worry.

“I am increasingly concerned with the recent decision by the Chinese Government to cease accepting a range of solid wastes, including recyclables, from Australia in 2018,” Mr Dawson said.

“WA is in the process of implementing significant reform in the waste sector. Cost-efficient recycling of materials is key to delivering better outcomes across the state.

“The loss of opportunities to manage recycling with our international trading partners risks becoming a major barrier to reform in this State. I have written to the Federal Government to explore opportunities to work with them to mitigate or minimise the impacts of this ban on West Australians.”

State General Manager of SUEZ Nial Stock said that without China, ratepayers could have to pay more for recycling services. He confirmed China’s importance within WA’s recycling exports.

“In the end the ratepayer will pay extra for the recycling that goes on at their house,” he said.