On January 1st, The Chinese government stopped the import of recyclable materials and it left recycling businesses and kerbside pick-ups all across Australia struggling to maintain the current levels of recycling.
Already in Victoria some local councils have had to cut off some local recycling contracts and residents in some communities are being told to not use their yellow bins.
And here in the Hunter the first effects of the import ban are starting to show with recycling company Polytrade reducing the operation of their plant in Gateshead to a week by week basis.
Many residents are starting to get concerned they may be hit with an increased rate for the kerbside recycling bin pickup but Councillors are hopeful it may not come to that.
According to Lake Macquarie City Councils Director of City Strategy Tony Farrell, the Hunter is well-equipped to manage the situation for the short term.
"The Hunter has great recyclable waste facilities and the normal service of bin pick-up will continue as normal," he said.
"People should not be worried about an increase of rates at this time".
For the time being it seems everything will continue as normal, but council expects they will start to store glass recyclables very soon.
Mr Farrell is confident a long term solution will be found before the situation gets any worse.
"The worst outcome would be seeing recyclable materials end up in landfill and we're working hard to ensure it doesn't come to this".
|Recycling plant in Gateshead|
Source; GAP group