The role of landfills in a circular economy – AustraliaPosted on October 29, 2020 by DrRossH in Landfills and Disposal
If we want to create a circular economy where we reuse and recycle, where we maximise resource value by recovering valuable materials, then the first and most obvious thing we need to do, is stop the one-way flow into landfills.
Waste is like a river that flows downhill to the cheapest price. If we continue to supply cheaply priced landfills, then that is where our waste and our valuable recyclates, are going to go.
It has taken governments a long time to realise that they must intervene in the landfill pricing market if they want to improve recycling rates in Australia. Landfill levies have become the key instrument to rebalance the economics of landfill versus recycling.
However it is not enough.
It is going to take many years to fix this problem and a big change in governments thinking. Consumers have been pushed to a consume and dump mentality in Australia and it may take a generational change to fix this.