Excess plastic stockpiled at recycling depot
Some plastic at the Timaru recycling depot is waiting for a buyer as the Chinese market refuses to take certain types.
The Timaru District Council's retail contractor Transpacific Industries confirmed that the market for recyclable plastic types 3 to 7 was "unfavourable".
Chinese authorities have expressed concern about possible contamination.
Transpacific managing director Tom Nickels said that, although it was possible to still sell the mixed-grade plastic, "albeit at a significantly lower price", it would be prudent to stockpile it until market conditions improved.
"As this is not a long-term issue, consideration of alternative options have not been necessary," he said. "However, Transpacific Waste Management is always looking towards the future with regard to innovation and improvements."
He said the quantity was "not large" and the plastic was being stored at the Redruth facility."
The council collects about 5200 tonnes of recyclable materials a year. Mr Nickels said "about 4 per cent" of the district's recyclable material was affected by the change in market.
Timaru district services manager Ashley Harper said the council was aware a small amount of mixed plastics stored at Redruth was awaiting sale. "TPI are working with the broker to find sustainable markets for all recyclables."
Mr Harper said it had not suffered the issues of some councils, such as in Dunedin, where hundreds of tonnes of recycling were being stockpiled at its Green Island plant awaiting a buyer.
The Timaru council sends about 31 per cent of its waste to landfill.
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