Waste processing industry faces collapse

December 3, 2008 at 4:16 pm

The British recycling industry is facing collapse unless the government releases funds to assist with the transport and processing of household waste. The global credit crunch has obliterated overseas demand for recyclable junk, and the bottles and cans that would have normally been shipped to China are being stockpiled or sent to landfill sites.

Waste processing facilities all over Europe are refusing to buy recyclable garbage from British firms because market values have hit an all-time low. The price of a ton of waste paper dropped from £50 to a meagre £1 almost overnight. Steel cans have become worthless.

An elderly lady from Cornwall has collected huge quantities of plastic containers, bread bags, and yoghurt pots in her garage. “The local council won’t take it”, Mrs Oates-Koomen explained, “They say there’s no market for it in this country. So I have no choice but to collect it in a plastic bag.”

Her plight is becoming increasingly common among British householders. Hertfordshire council has warned residents that they will no longer be allowed to recycle margarine tubs, whilst Devon and Scarborough councils have begun stockpiling plastic to prevent an ecological disaster.

In Cambridge, paper recycling bins are being axed. The surplus paper is being ploughed into fields used for farming.

The European Union wants all member states to recycle fifty percent of all household and construction waste by 2020 but, in the wake of the recent financial crisis, many countries are struggling to justify their recycling campaigns. Landfill sites, the bottle bin’s evil twin, may be about to make a brief comeback.

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