4Corners ABC TV 7Aug2017 must watch

Discussion in 'Chin Wag' started by ClissAT, Aug 8, 2017.

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Do you have confidence in Australian industry's ability to adequately recycle all waste?

  1. Yes

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  2. No

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  1. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    If you are in anyway involved in recycling, be it your household waste; to shares in recycling companies; to giving money to environmental protection charities, this show last night on 4Corners is a must see.

    If you didn't see it or don't have it recorded & intend to watch it soon, take an hour out of your day & go to catch up TV & watch it.

    This is one of the biggest eye openers I have ever known of. We have all been completely duped.

    We all think we are doing the right thing by placing our household recycling in the yellow bin. We also think that commercial industry in general is doing the right thing or else being harassed/dragged into court/fined by EPA, local councils &/or state govt. How wrong we are!

    All I can think of now is to cut down even more on what I buy & to aim at zero that I put in my waste & recycle bins so I nolonger contribute to this vulgar waste problem.
    I also need to think of how my other purchases add to waste from commercial businesses that is most likely also ending up in illegal dumps.
     
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  2. Flatland

    Flatland Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I don't have access to TV so I am wondering what this program came up with. I take it from your comments that what we carefully put in our yellow bins doesn't actually get recycled. I've always wondered how much gets recycled. I try as much as possible not to get the rubbish to start with but it can be very hard. Really notice one thing when I go interstate. SA has banned plastic shopping bags so most people bring their own bags but when I go interstate to a supermarket I am treated like some crazy woman for having my own bag. it's a small thing but it really works in SA
     
  3. Steve

    Steve Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    I didn't see the show and with pathetic internet I'm unlikely to be able to.

    I did listen to a gardening podcast the other day where they interviewed someone that had something to do with the recycling world. I was amazed that unless the item in the yellow bin fits certain criteria it is transferred to the normal rubbish pile. Things like rinsing out tins, lids off, and there were a few other little things that needed to be done that slip my mind now.
    They said that the people sorting this recycling doesn't have time to do extra separation tasks so they will just bin it.

    Seems silly to me.

    @ClissAT can you elaborate on what the main topics where please? Thanks
     
  4. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Other states are transferring their waste by multiple road train loads nightly to Queensland because our state doesn't have fees per tonne of waste buried in landfill.

    Up here it is being pushed down old coal mines both underground & open cut. However in the underground mines it has become a fire hazard & is burning slowly venting the usual toxic smoke through small cracks in the surface. The residual coal in these mines has been burning for years & now has the rubbish added.

    The show showed quite high hills completely made from crushed glass being stored somewhere, anywhere. What else can the recyclers do with it?

    Then there has been the several huge fires in recycle plants recently where acres of baled recycled plastics or paper has gone up in flames. Heat is actually one really good way to turn 100's of 1millions of cubic metres of recyclable products into a very small volume! Unfortunately all those gasses go into the atmosphere rather than being collected & reused. But what else could a company do with all that waste when they are not allowed to store such large volumes of combustible waste nor is there any other place to store it except illegally down Qld mines.

    4Corners also investigated the corruption in the industry in general & opened a Pandora's box which may or maynot upset the apple cart depending on how far up the chain the corruption extends. So far it is as high as council mayors & possibly state & federal department reps of EPA & other departments.

    Other waste such as building waste, including asbestos, is being buried in illegal landfills all over NSW &Vic wherever operators think they can get away with it, especially if they have a corrupted council official on their books. The laws & council regs have holes big enough to drive a fully loaded triple road train through & the operators are making the most of that.

    Of the rubbish coming up here, much started out as recyclables, but due to the collapse in that industry where all those items are now worthless (or next to), the spawning mountains of the stuff have to be move on every night.

    It boils down to a few stupid facts:-

    1, the state & federal govts & the greens wont allow the construction or operation of massive incinerators like those used in Europe, because some of the emission scrubbing & gas harvesting technology has not yet been certified for use in Australia;
    2, There has not been any help for manufacturing companies to turn recycled materials into usable & market competitive products in Australia. The same products are coming from China, India & Latin America for a fraction of the price, so Aussie recycled materials are worthless.

    One company does send many, many shipping containers of recycled product by sea in back loads to China but it only covers their cost of collection, sorting & storage of those recycled goods. There's no profit so they are just doing it as a public service which is not how a private company is supposed to be run. It's no wonder the other companies cant be bothered.

    There was another 4 episode TV show called 'War on Waste' made by & shown on ABC 3mths ago. That guy put trackers into bags of 'scrunchable plastics' such as shopping bags that now go into the red bins at supermarkets supposedly for recycling. He followed those trackers all over Australia & the world. One even went to China which he was happy for because that is what was supposed to happen to most of them. Others disappeared after they came to Qld.

    I think the 4corners show was a follow up of that series because those trackers were not supposed to end up up here. Or perhaps the 4corners show was being made first but they needed more evidence that rubbish was going in the wrong direction. In anycase it is a really bad thing that this whole recyclables fiasco cant be sorted out so is turning into a massive mountain of unusable waste for Australia.

    Storing glass, plastics & tyres in massive hills or down holes in the ground is not such a bad idea because for the most part it is inert so will still be in the same form in many years time when perhaps there will be a market for that product so it can be dug up or mined & reused. I know some people say storing tyres in the ground is polluting, but only some tyres will begin to break down a tiny bit if exposed to certain inground conditions. Otherwise it is quite a safe process.

    So rather than operators having to do it illegally, the govt should facilitate the storage of these products in safe places where they can stay for decades until required.

    Or else get off their asses & certify the technology required to run the incinerators out of which the biggest byproduct is electricity!

    Now there's another Pandora's box!
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
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  5. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Some of that is micro managing Steve. Other is misleading or nowadays unnecessary.

    The bottle caps off thing is to do with the fact that the lid is made from a different class of plastic to the bottle itself & the 2 can't be well separated during the hammermilling process. So the whole batch becomes contaminated if they are only wanting to harvest the clear plastic PET & similar part.

    re the washing out info- well that's not important these days when most of the recycled waste is being sorted mechanically with computerized & infra-red help, even though the conveyor belts are lined with people pulling incorrectly sorted items out of the mix. It was mostly to do with the contents being either organic materials(so should go in the compost) or chemical such as old paint or oil. But again with the advent of mechanical sorting, those items weigh more so they fall out of the mix & are dealt with differently. Yes they might end up in the general waste but due to the cost &/or value of the items, that's just as good a place as any these days.
     
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  6. Mataeka

    Mataeka Active Member Premium Member GOLD

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    The way we recycle in QLD (sunshine coast and Brisbane council as I've lived in both) is pathetic. Tbh I'm surprised they reclaim anything. I lived in Nagoya, Japan for 10 months and that is an interesting recycling system. It'd be a lot more thorough with less contamination because they require citizens to sort everything out into 8-10 different collection types. More so due to how its collected if they catch you doing wrong and you stupidly leave identifying items in your rubbish - they will send it back to you to make you do it right - could you imagine if we had that kind of accountability?! Then there is the way they recycle fast food rubbish in a way that absolutely blows Australian maccas mind (and yet they still refuse to do it...) I think space would be the general motivation behind their recycling systems - they dont have the area to bury and forget their rubbish the way we do alas.

    It definitely gives a big incentive to reduce the ability to waste in the first place by reducing what is purchased. I'm proud with how much we've reduced our garbage amount (probably about 1L of rubbish every 1-2 weeks) by composting - but our recycle bin gets filled to overflowing (2 households using 1 bin doesn't help)- there has to be better ways to reduce that - either through composting, repurposing, moving on to others who can benefit (glass etc) and selling to scrap metal...
     
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  7. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    I heard that Japanese recycling was reputedly the toughest but I didn't know they sent it back to the householder.
    Pity that doesn't happen here!!
    Also over there, they are less inclined to spend madly, preferring to save.
    So less 'stuff' is making its way into the household to begin with.
    Us Aussies are just too darned laid back (lazy & gullible) for our own good & we have far too much in the way of discretionary income.
    An affluent society is also known to be a wasteful society, mores the pity.
     
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  8. Mataeka

    Mataeka Active Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Yeah they sent rubbish back to the dorms after one of the other exchange students got lazy with her final rubbish - I found out because the dorm hostess kept being really strict about my rubbish thinking she'd have to deal with mine too. They also lack the space to store things the way we do - things will frequently have dual purposes etc as space is so limited.
     

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