Dear Antonis

You keep going with special articles about the debate to recycling crisis and after a review I made would like to contribute on that as following


1. What are the barriers we have to overcome?
· Lack of short term capital
· Companies will increasingly need financial resources and/ or bank or state guaranties to continue operations and tackle the negative revenue effects of the recession. This will be essential to maintain the high environmental standards internationally, particularly with respect to climate objectives which cannot be achieved without functioning waste management and recycling infrastructure.
· Recycling needs must remain economically viable.
· There is global supply excess of recyclates without knowing the quantities but there are large stocks for those companies which are largely dependent on international sales in emerging markets such as China and India. And once people stopped buying other products, manufacturers in China no longer accepted America’s recyclables – particularly paper for all that packaging. Secondary raw materials as paper and scrap metals are accumulating at the ports of call because contracting parties refuse to accept the goods.
· The private sector what needs to see is good understanding of how serious the situation is by local authorities. Contractors do not want to stop providing a service but if they cannot afford to continue some contracts, yes the council could take them to the court but this would achieve little. There will be costs incurred and there are few companies who will want to take over the contract at present. The better way forward is for councils to pay more to cover the shortfall in material value and we can agree on a structure so that when prices rise again a fair share of this increase ca be returned to the local authority.
· The biggest market problem is with bad quality of mixed papers and it is irrelevant how it is collected and that means we have to continue with good quality.
· There must be data bases to control the supply and demand in the market otherwise is setting down to a new equilibrium will be a long term effect.
· We have to share experiences and problems and communicate and try and find innovation solutions
· If we have to start landfilling recyclables we will lose public confidence in recycling schemes and it will take a long time to build up again.
· As for eventual market recovery, we would say it won’t happen until manufacturing picks up again. In the mean time, survival is a matter of which recycling businesses anticipated a decrease in demand. Everybody is hurting right now. The question is; How long is it going to happen and who’s best prepared for it ? Who can ride out the storm?.
· In recycling business must understand you are going to lose money one year out four and must prepare for it. It must be part of business plan, but it is difficult to find that altitude, certainly among people who understand recycling and particularly the fluctuation should have been expected because the commodities are volatile and risky whether they’re tin cans or crude oil and we have to understand that the good times wouldn’t roll forever.

Best regards

Andrew Kouskouris


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