Rubbish - Do It Yourself!
Tuesday, May 1, 2018 at 2:32PM
Bill Barclay

It was interesting to hear Smart Environmental owner Graham Christian on National Radio yesterday bleating about the need for Government and Local Government assistance in regard to the storage and disposal of plastic waste.

This part of his waste stream has now been banned from China where it has all been sent in the past because, surprise, surprise, processing of same has begun (?) to cause major environmental problems and the Chinese Government has decided that its already highly polluted countryside will no longer play the role of rubbish dump for the entire World.

If Graham Christian was unaware that this was likely to happen sooner rather than later, then he has not been reading the tea-leaves in the bottom, of his (plastic?) cup. It has been telegraphed for ten years or more that this was coming like night follows day, but Smart, along with Waste Management and all the other NZ companies involved in the industry have continued to gather up unwashed milk and other containers, apparently in the belief that the Chinese were bluffing.

Now the curtain has come down, with all the certainly and speed for which the Chinese are well known, and already mountains of the dammed stuff are building up around the country with no idea as to how it will be dealt with in the future. Christian wants the Government and councils to “share the cost of storage” in the meantime, and until an alternative has been devised - preferably a plant to process the stuff.

It is beyond belief that Mr Christian and his crew were unaware of the likelihood of this situation developing as they went about preparing their tenders for the now many contracts that his company holds for collection around Auckland, and elsewhere in the country.

I am always incredulous when these guys turn around and seek subsidies when their  tenders turn to dust when circumstances that they should have fully taken into account when preparing them change for the worse. That is the way the worm turns, and Mr Christian should have been fully prepared.

He has evidently done extremely well out of his contracts here and elsewhere, and it is now the  time for him and his cohort to put some resources back into the business without falling back on the old familiar subsidy rort. The next turn of the screw will come when they demand funding of the plant required, and protection from any change in overseas demand.

We all know just how these things work in a small country, but on this occasion, the Government should remain firm, and tell all of these operators to ‘get their act together,’ and build a suitable plant in a central location poste haste - after all if they are not in a position to put togther a  business case, no-one is. While they are at it they should do something about ensuring that the raw product is delivered clean - if that takes Government regulation, so be it.




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