Waste Management NZ, the nation's biggest such company, says there isn't a quick fix for the impact of Chinese restrictions on waste imports after the government announced a task force to respond to a move that operators say has sucked the profits out of . . .
First it was the fuel taxes, now the Government is hiking the tax on household waste as another example of breaking the ‘no new tax’ pledge, says the Taxpayers’ Union. This morning on Radio NZ’s Morning Report, Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage said that the Government will be increasing the New Zealand Waste Levy. “This is another broken promise that will fall on households paying for rubbish, ratepayers, and Kiwi businesses who have waste to landfill,” says Jordan Williams, spokesman for the Taxpayers’ Union. “Those in construction will be particularly hard hit. Despite most construction waste being inert, they will pay a heavy price for a tax going from $10 a tonne to perhaps $200 a tonne. That’s a 1,900% increase.” “What’s worse, is that this tax isn’t even necessary. It is used by the Ministry for the Environment for a ‘waste minimisation’ slush fund, often going to corporate welfare projects of very questionable value.” “Does the Prime Minister mean what she says when she made the ‘no new taxes’ policy? If so, she needs to talk to her Green Party Minister and get this tax hike put in the dustbin.” RNZ interview transcript (full interview available here): Alex Perrottet: “Not too long to go but I want to ask you, there’s a proposal by Iona Pannett, Wellington City Council, saying that dumping could be a lot more costly. I think she is saying that it could go from $10 a tonne to $200 a tonne. What are you thinking in that regard?” Eugenie Sage: “Well the local authorities have recommended it going up to about $140, $150 a tonne. $10 a tonne has been in place since about 2008-2009. We will be increasing that levy.”
Apr 30 - New Zealand previously sent most of its recycling to China. Spokesperson Graham Christian for waste company Smart Environmental said paper and plastic stocks had started to build up since the ban.
Nov 21, 2017 - Robots are now being developed to sort household recyclables and differentiate between construction wastes. What will this mean for the human workers? Matt Clay in Waste Management World writes about the increasing presence of robots in industry, in particular recyclables and waste, that robots once suitable for only niche applications, are now being developed that can sort household recyclables and differentiate between construction wastes. What will this mean for the human workers? Does it mean the start of robot revolution? How accurate is the technology?
British pre-eminent scientist Prof Stephen Hawking once warned that the “development of full artificial intelligence (AI) could spell the end of the human race”. While we are many years away from AI taking over from humans in true Terminator fashion, technology has changed how we interact.
The rise of smart phones and apps have meant that electronic devices have become an extension of the body; a high tech major organ of communication. Being without it, for many, leads to what is now being called ‘nomophobia’ – the fear of being without your mobile phone.
While devices are becoming more integrated in our daily lives, one industry that perhaps hasn’t seen technological development as fast as others is waste management. Many material recovery facilities (MRFs) do contain teams of near infrared (NIR) advanced machines sorting through waste streams at a lighting pace. Yet, teams of waste pickers – people stood in lines working long and hard hours – still remain to provide final quality control; humans are still key to the operation.