Strategic Futurists; Value Systems Specialists

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Disaster Ahead for the People of Ipswich

Monday 23 April 2018

As the Ipswich Council has determined that recycling schemes are too expensive and indicates it will end collections, the question is 'what happens next'? If result of the explosion in Tip fees by Councils around Australia is anything to go by, what happens next will not be good

China recently decided to end acting like a rubbish dump for the rest of the world's plastic waste. To borrow from the delightful Catherine Tate, 'How Very Dare They'! In response, some Councils such as the Queensland located Ipswich Council have declared that 'recyling is too expensive'. U-huh.

Of course they won't be alone and I'd expect others to follow suit. So let's quickly jump ahead to what the implications of non recyling will be, taking our lead from the impact of the privatisation and closure of municipal tips. As fees rose and tips closed, greed and stupidity kicked in. Councils now deal with the deviant behavious known as 'Midnight Dumping'. This is where asbestos filled garbage bags get dumped near child care centres; mattresses, general waste and putrescible rubbish suddenly appear in paddocks or on new estates, and your own bin get's loaded up at night by passing cars (or neighbours).

The end result is a spike in localised clean ups, rising costs through investigations, more litigation and no end in sight for illegal #ParasiteDumping. Which is what is going to happen to plastic and glass waste.

The issue of course is less about the off loading and more about how blind Australians have been to what they were getting rid of. All that plastic and glass is a R E S O U R C E. It can be used in various forms. For Councils, they don't even need to sort it by type.

All glass can be crushed and used in concrete. A L L  O F  I T. And for plastics? Look under the tyres of your car and you'll find R O A D S. EVERY SINGLE PIECE OF PLASTIC can be shredded to make roads. It only has to be melted and mixed with aggregate. Long lasting, more impervious to damage and water ingress, flexible during heat changes so that it doesn't crack or chip. Able to be easily and cheaply repaired if gouged or damaged. And let's not talk about footpaths or perfectly good park benches and elaborately formed artworks or seating.

If you're a consumer, start refilling reusable containers at point of purchase and leave the packaging behind. Yes, At The Supermarket - leave your excessive cardboard with the people who insist on it!

The issue is Not China, and it's not the cost of recycling. It is the complete failure to see this as a product resource for the basics of Council infrastructure. Councils ending recycling schemes? How Very Dare They!

 


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