Dysart feels effects of China’s recycling policy change

By Jenn Watt

Published April 10 2018

The cost of recycling is going up for the Municipality of Dysart et al. At the April 5 environment and conservation committee meeting councillors were presented with a letter from Mid Ontario Disposal the company that deals with recycling haulage and processing.

“The markets for commingled blue box containers has been falling continuously over the last several years and we have not been receiving any rebate but we now find ourselves in a position where we have to haul the material at our cost and pay a tipping fee at the processing facility” wrote Shelley Fisher of Mid Ontario Disposal in a letter to the municipality.

“The markets for paper have also bottomed out. China has been the main market for waste paper for many years but they have been buying very little since summer 2017. When they do order a load from our Canadian broker they reject any load that has any contamination” the letter continues.

The financial cost to the municipality will be about $45000 this year with increases kicking in June 1.

Fees are going from $24 per tonne of fibres and $39 per tonne for containers to $74 and $89 respectively.

“They [Mid Ontario Disposal] were supposed to go from February to February [with the contract] so they’re going to have an increased rate from June to Jan. 1 and then potentially not have the contract” Rob Camelon director of public works told the committee.

“The problem is that the biggest buyer of recycling is China and China is at a point where they’re making enough of their own” said committee chairman Dennis Casey.

“They don’t need ours. That’s where the impact comes from.”

The letter from Mid Ontario Disposal goes on to say that they are expecting “a drop in cardboard prices in April.”

According to an article published by CBC in January “In 2016 Chinese manufacturers imported over 163 million metric tonnes of waste materials from developed countries including the U.S. U.K. and Japan making for an industry worth nearly $90 billion US. But as of Jan. 1 2018 China will no longer import much of the plastic and paper we have been shipping there for decades.”