The Australian Council of Recycling commissioned Prime Creative Media before and after COVID-19 to get an updated measure of industry confidence.
In the wake of COVID-19, some organisations have identified the potential for new business over the next six months, but it comes against a broader backdrop of concern about public policy settings for recycling, a new report by the Australian Council of Recycling (ACOR) has shown.
ACOR which represents dozens of people contributing to the $15 billion resource recover industry, commissioned Prime Creative Media through its title Waste Management Review to undertake a measure of industry confidence of Australia’s recycling sector.
From January to March 2020, Prime Creative Media surveyed more than 500 respondents working in municipal waste (MSW), commercial and industrial (C&I) and construction and demolition (C&D) waste.
The trends have shown that while almost half of all organisations across MSW, C&I and C&D are positive about their organisation’s performance, more than a third of respondents across all streams are very negative about the public policy and government setting.
Respondents ranked issues most important to them and the top three issues across employees working in MSW, C&D and C&I.
Key issues highlighted by respondents were a need for greater reinvestment of state waste disposal activities into resource recovery, grants/loans for resource recovery and pro-active purchasing of recycled content by the public sector.
In ACOR’s second follow-up – COVID-19 Industry Pulse Check – 41 per cent of just under 100 participants indicated they were somewhat impacted by COVID-19, 35 per cent very impacted and 16 per cent unsure of the impact.
Businesses are also somewhat confident about identifying new business opportunities over the next three to six months, with 35 per cent indicating some level of positivity.
ACOR CEO Pete Shmigel said that with the Council of Australian Government’s ban on the export of unprocessed materials, re-investment into the sector is critical now more than ever.
“If we want to optimise recycling’s environmental and economic benefits….we need to better line up industry interests and their social outcomes and public policy,” he said.
“Implementation of the National Waste Policy with all stakeholders around one table is an opportunity in that way.”
You can read the full results of the survey here.