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New Zealand
[New Zealand (Aotearoa)]
Posted on : Aug 27, 2008
New Zealand's billion-dollar scrap metal industry will lose out if a proposed
Waste Minimisation Bill goes ahead. The bill, which is due for its second
reading calls for a levy on every tone's of waste sent for disposal. It is
intended to deter wasteful behavior and to provide funding for new waste
minimisation initiatives.

But President of the Scrap Metal Recycling Association Trevor Munro said
increased costs for dumping waste will fall back on those who have always
recycled it for profit. “This was done by an amendment that we were not
consulted on. And it is patently obvious that scrap metal – which is New
Zealand’s 17th biggest export earner, with a turnover of about a billion dollars
per annum – is not “waste”. Defining it as waste will only undermine our ability
to export it and jeopardize the jobs of around 1,000 New Zealanders,’ Mr Munro
told a gathering of recyclers who demonstrated outside the central government
building.

Munro said the bill would see scrap metal dealers in New Zealand become less
competitive than their foreign counterparts. ’New Zealand already has the
highest landfill costs in Australasia without the waste levies and unfortunately
in order to recycle metals we must handle non-recyclable wastes.’ The world
recycling body Bureau of International recycling (BIR) has supported the New
Zealanders through sending a letter. Green Party MP Russel Norman has already
lodged an amendment to Parliament to add a new definition of ‘diverted’ material
into the bill so that not all trash will be called waste.

In the past few years, the industry has collected an increase in "post-consumer"
scrap, largely due to public education campaigns, including business open days
and school visits. New collection and recycling methods have also raised the
amount of scrap received.

Around 500,000 tonnes of ferrous and 50,000 tonnes of non-ferrous scrap metal is
generated each year. Of that 45 per cent of ferrous scrap metal and 90 per cent
of non-ferrous metal is exported. Leading export destinations are China,
Indonesia and South Korea.
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