Yes, as a community we possibly have become to complacent with the local government recycling programs...assuming it was all healthy and the status quo would last forever.
Many are blaming the Chinese, but they are possibly the last to blame. The Chinese are only responding to the quality of recyclables they were receiving.
Having visted several MURF, I was surprised at the amount of contaminants present in the recycled bins collected under the council program. There seems a considerable number within our community which don't share the recycling ethos may other aspire to. Many recycling bins appear to be treated as a second general waste bin.
These contaminants get caught up in the recycled materials at the end of the processing line, reducing their value.
Many State government plan to or are in the throws of implementing a container deposit scheme...which primary aim is to marginalky increase the recycling rates which currently exist...with other secondary purposes as to reduce litter by making the empty container valuable. With no resolution yet on what happens to recycled materials in Australia (ezp. hard plastics), maybe the state government should defer these schemes until it is resolved. If they don't and plastic container collected as part of the container deposit scheme are landfilled as there are no medium term recycling options, it will impact on the communities acceptance of the scheme and it long term success.