RECYCLING : is it a farce in Australia?

With recycling, you need supervision and regulations. Other countries have done it, what’s wrong with Australia ?? Besides loopholes< illegal dumping< corrupt epa officials, council officials, illegal landfill, and using Queensland as a dump.

Our government has been aware of the problem, but can’t be bothered rectifying a possible solution.


For those who missed it, you can watch the 4 Corners exposé here:

I heard about the truckloads of waste going to Qld a few years ago, so it isn’t as if governments haven’t had plenty of time to do something about it.


Welcome to Queensland…

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Watched 4Corners yesterday. They did a fantastic job!!! For some reason these issues keep getting swept under the rug. Thanks Gordon


Unfortunately the world is driven by prices, and the waste industry is no different.

When virgin (first use) materials are cheaper than recycled, the market moves towards virgin materials.

When cost of disposal in NSW is around $140/tonne more expensive than its neighbour Queensland, waste moves towards the lower cost disposal sites, namely Queensland.

Unfortunately we seem to be in an economic environment where everything is driven primarily by price, rather than taking a quadruple bott0me line approach.


Unfortunately, the world is driven by greed and corruption. It’s not cost of disposal, it’s what is being disposed , such as asbestos, poisonous chemicals, flammable materials, treated woods, and used as landfill. Our government and industry is driven by price, but not the average person.


@bigmitch8, Queensland generates similar materials and landfill sites are regulated/licensed in relation to what materials they are approved to receive.

I believe the real issue is the federation where states introduce different standards and regulations for essentially the same thing. Such can be bypassed, especially when the issue at hand is mobile and can easily traverse state boundaries.

The Qld government today was blaming the former government for scrapping Qld’s waste levy, the NSW government for not managing waste transport and disposal practices, the commonwealth, companies etc rather than looking at themselves and finding a solution. They have been in government long enough to ensure a solution coukd have been implemented.

There should be a national approach to waste management, reuse, recycling and packaging. Unfortunately such falls to the states and until there is a national and coordinated approach, the situation won’t change.


Quite true, but why are consumers misled? The largest glass recycler has stopped accepting glass since 2011 (can be imported cheaper) and polytrade recycling has been storing it in warehouses, some in Victoria for a rainy day, and using it as landfill.

Other recyclers have been transporting hazardous wastes 24/7 by rails and trucks to Queensland because NSW found a scapegoat. Quite unfortunate, I would say, our tourist capital of Australia. Plastic has gone the way of glass and we in Victoria had a recent fire in one plastic recycling plant which lasted nearly a week and people were evacuated because of the noxious smoke. Unfortunate…


@bigmitch8 It is actually the third fire in 6 months at one of our Victorian recycling plants . Don’t you feel safe this summer with the ongoing dispute , driven by the sitting government , between the Melbourne Fire Brigade and the Country Fire Authority . God help us if we have the summer that’s being predicted . De markation disputes between the MFB and CFA to decide who fights which fire and where . /
On our car number plates it states " Victoria …The Education State " Yeh right and the stork brings babies .


Thanks for the update. Not a peep on the news stations about this long standing fiasco about recycling. These recyclers must carry a lot of muscle. Recycling has become s multi-billion dollar business with recyclers polluting our environment and corruption running rampant in industry and politics, where is this leading to ??? It all seems to be a political game and the winners get the golden goose that lays the golden eggs.


Once again, yes, we certainly don’t need State Governments, as a National Approach to all our woes is certainly the answer and that now includes Rubbish! When, when, when!!! We have to make it happen and soon.


There is an easy way to fix this problem of waste, and at the same time fix the Murray Darling river system.

Cut all funding to the ABC.

It is time to realise that the old saying

“Government for the people by the people” is now

“Government for the people by the corporations to preserve profits over people”

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Phbriggs, I understand your logic and the need for a national approach to waste. But all that would do at the moment would be to hand control from one incompetent body to another incompetent body. I base this on the mess we have with power generation direction, and the $122 million postal vote on same sex marriage. And then there is the push bike internet NBN (fraudnet) because we didn’t need a Rolls Royce system. We cannot even get politicians that know if they are Australians (grin)! Although I still see the Greens as the sometimes voice of logic in the political wilderness…I said sometimes.


The responsibility for administration and implementation wouldn’t necessarily change, and would still be the responsibility of the state and local governments. What would change is having consistent interstate legislative measures, something which doesnt exist at this time. This could be addressed through COAG working groups providing recommendations for endorsement by COAG.


Mitch may I make a suggestion. Please stop using all capitals.

  • it makes your material hard to read, really it does
  • it is poor communication, if you emphasize nearly everything then you emphasize nothing
  • if your post looks like a ransom note you will be given less respect, all we know about you is what you type and the way you type is part of that
  • in online forums it is considered rude as it is interpreted as constantly shouting at people.

If you want your material to be read and understood use normal sentence upper and lower case and punctuation, there are good reasons beyond mere convention why people adhere to these simple rules.


Curb side Recycling has always been jingoism, for many years it has been widely known amongst even the most casual observer that a fair percentage of what is collected ends up in landfall because we lack the downstream industries to use the feedstock of recyclables.
Curb side recycling is done to assuage our ‘middle-class’ guilt, which is fed by our rampant consumerism and our throwaway society.

If councils and governments were fair dinkum about reducing waste they would tax packaging more heavily to discourage overuse and they would give real incentives to small scale composting at a local government level to reduce or eliminate the organic waste in the waste stream. All household waste would be weighed at collection and rates adjusted accordingly rewarding households that produce less by composting, recycling and re-using and taxing more heavily those who don’t.

It is the latest green-cry to try and make use collectively reduce our very heavy ecological footprint on this planet, and although very noble in concept is doomed to disappear like the ones before planting a billion trees, restoring the murray-darling waterways or the ultimate jingoism to saving the planet by turning off our lights for one hour a year so we can sleep well knowing we are doing our bit.
Because as soon as the public’s attention span is diverted waste will be forgotten as we move on to the next issue designed to help assuage our over-consumption collective guilt.


Individuals , companies and corporations will take the path of least resistance . Regulations and laws enable society to function better, much like road rules .
The ability to see the challenge as part of the need to make our complex system work with checks and balances. Recycling is part of the environmental challenge as part of the modern industrial society . It’s all about waste from the society . Carbon dioxide , rubbish and recycling its all linked systemically.
Brexit & Trump are signs that many desire a different way, as many of the hard issues have not been addressed. The simple solutions offered however do not match the complex problems that have arisen .
Complex issues require complex solutions with great leadership to lead the changes needed. European culture has enabled a higher level understanding of the issues involved . The challenge is similar to the discussion on smoking or drink driving. We need to change the discussion over time to change the culture as they have done in Europe .

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Thanks for the suggestion. Didn’t want to offend. In University, took speed-reading. Some points I recall were to catch major words and if you capitalize, you catch the eye of the reader. Most people don’t bother reading unless they find something catchy , like a capital word (not an all capital) sentence or a small pic. I also had taken up Printing and became a proofreader for a friend who owned a print shop. I find some staff in some forums and communities full of excuses (as in Telstra and Foxtel communities).If you have problems that carry on forever, be it recycling, ACCC, Justice., Retirement living; etc… then something is wrong in the system and you find incompetence. I prefer a real answer, not to be jerked around with half-lies
and falsehoods.

In a perfect world with regulations and laws society could function better. Not much like road rules, because even they still have not been perfected. They are not all universal.I find small recyclers that did illegal dumping years ago that are now huge recyclers and still do illegal dumping today. There is a problem, and it has to be rectified.

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Well said,pandrew3.“Government for the people by the people” hasn’t begun yet. Government for the corporations is now.

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