My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (

Monday, December 29, 2008

Recycling piles up....

I wonder what the situation is like in Canadian cities....
Experts estimate that up to 15 per cent of all recycling is now being stored in warehouses and ports, waiting for a buyer.

Some of the waste could be stuck there for a year.

One in four councils has asked for more storage capacity to cope with the problem, which is likely to have worsened because of the volume of recycling generated over Christmas.

Councils have been forced to recycle more by facing higher penalties for every tonne of waste that they dump in landfill to help the UK hit new European Union recycling targets.

But demand for recycling material has dropped sharply since October as sales of new cars, white goods and new homes - which provide a market for recycled material - have tailed off in the global downturn.

The price of recycled cans has fallen from £200 a tonne to £20 a tonne, while paper and card has also dropped from £60 a tonne to just £10 a tonne.

Prices have now fallen so far that the cost of making new plastic is cheaper than reusing the recycled material. The result has been a big increase in stockpiles of recycled rubbish, which contractors are battling to clear.


Blogger Archie said...

This all could be true, except in Alberta. Most recyclers were selling the recycles over seas, except in Alberta were industries were developed to use these recyclables. Take Edmonton were in the next couple of years almost 100% of its garbage will be recycled. What you should be writing about is the need to develop industries to take advantage of this abundance of recyclables. There should be no need to sell our garbage to other countries, there is enough viable industries that could take advantage of this abundance of material.

11:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Archie is wrong. This is a problem in Alberta, perhaps not in Edmonton....for now.
But tipping fees that recycling companies charge is going up. Soon communities may have to start subsidizing all cost invilved in trransporting goods, which emans higher municipal recycling taxes.
Over the next 3 months this is going to hit all of Canada hard.

2:12 AM  
Blogger Archie said...

Tipping fees are going up due to the price of fuel, but wait a minute the price of fuel has drop. So this argument doesn't hold water. Now if you would check, you would find out that Alberta started developing a recycling industry some time ago and for most part it all stays in Alberta. Were other parts of the country and the US ship these recyclables over seas for other countries to use. This market has all but dried up, so they don't have anyone to sell their garbage. So piles up, but in Alberta most of it is recycled in Alberta. They didn't have to rely on the overseas market everyone else did. In Edmonton they have a composter that converts 60%-70% of Edmonton's garbage into usable compost. In the near future the rest will be used in a plant to produce ethanol. Anonymous if you can prove me wrong I'll believe you, but show me some facts.

5:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Info is limited on this topic for Canada in general, but the story is still developing. This is an issue in Alberta that is going to get worse. You can't just look at Edmonton.Even those products recycled in Edmonton needs to go somewhere.

PALOMA MIGONE - Herald-Tribune staff
The market for cardboard and paper suffered a sprawling fall last month due to the faltering global economy, affecting movement of recycled Grande Prairie goods.
Aquatera Utilities Inc. will see a tipping fee increase of $25 per metric tonne of commercial cardboard waste Dec. 1, as its contractor, Recycle Plus, works to cover operations costs.

“I understand it,” said Uli Wolf, solid waste manager for Aquatera. “I understand given the cost for them, given the zero value for the material. They are a business too. They need to cover their cost, otherwise they have to shut down.”
Recycle Plus is still able to move cardboard without paying transportation costs, but there is fear prices could continue to drop, and the company may have to pay to move the product.
“It’s quite possible, if the economy continues, or further deteriorates, that we might have to pay for it to be taken to mill,” said Brenda Smith, business services director for Recycle Plus.

The company currently isn’t making a profit with cardboard, as its handling fees are not being covered, because the consumer demand has dried up, thus the export market has basically diminished, said Smith.
“People aren’t spending. When there is no demand for product, then of course people who are making product are going to quit making it.”
Dave Rothery of Bluewater Project Inc, Recycle Plus’s cardboard broker, paints an analogy.
The economy has caused people to not buy a new TV, for example. So the cardboard box it comes in isn’t needed, and therefore the paper to make it isn’t either, he said.
“There is still demand for it, but it’s such that there is so much oversupply, that the lower demand is being reflected in the price,” he said.
“It’s also more of a global thing. A lot of recycled waste paper normally is shipped overseas, like to China. China has shut down temporarily ... the less people send to China, it means the domestic market gets flooded.”
Smith said the overflow of product might cause a flip in the domestic market, giving buyers the power to pick and choose the cardboard they take.
“So now, rather than them wanting it, it’s going to be us the recycler that wants them.”
The market isn’t in that dark place yet, but the possibility raises alarm.
“We are paying and subsidizing these programs already substantially,” said Wolf. “With the reduction in market value of these products, payment is, in the long term, going up if the market stays this way.

“For some of the products, it’s at a point that the brokers for these materials may simply even refuse the material because there is no market. We are not there right now, but it could happen.”
Wolf said the diminishing demand could jeopardize Aquatera’s plan to expand the recycling system.
“Not knowing that there are markets in the future is problematic to say the least.
“I don’t know if we have seen the bottom yet, it is certainly not going to improve in the short-term.”
Wolf said he anticipates the problem will continue for at least half a year or more, until the economy picks up.
Plastic has also been difficult to move, although it has never been a high-dollar product for Recycle Plus, said Smith.
“We’ve never had a strong market for plastics in this area. We are still being able to move it, but it’s at a cost to us.”
The newspaper market continues to be strong because of a broker based in Edmonton – Allied Paper, a subsidiary of Can-Cell Industries Inc. The company uses the recycled goods to produce insulation and other products.
“Newspaper has good value ... simply because we have a local broker who is also an end-user of that product. I mean the key to recycling, particularly for a place like Grande Prairie, is finding end-users that are not too far away,” said Smith.

12:26 PM  

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