Tag Archives: China Sword

China’s National Sword and Australia’s Response

Following the decision by China in 2019 to introduce extensive new quality requirements on the importation of recyclables,  the global trading environment for secondary materials has changed dramatically.

Rick Ralph from Talking Garbology catches up with Nick Harford – Managing Director of Equilibrium, and together they discuss the decision by Australian State, Territory and Federal Environment Ministers to introduce export bans on recyclables over the next few years.

In a post COVID -19 business environment what does the ban on glass, tyres, paper and cardboard and plastics mean and where are the business opportunities?

This candid discussion between Harford and Ralph is not only informative; it also highlights the complex dynamics of the waste and resource recovery industry in Australia and abroad.

You can download the podcast here.

You can also listen to a previous chat between Ralph and Harford here.

China National Sword and its impact in Australia

The noise around China’s National Sword Policy has been significant and a trigger for diverse responses, some of which are measurable and forward-thinking, while others are more symbolic and reactive.

A key question is whether or not Australia has adjusted its recycling habits?

The China National Sword Policy formulated in September 2017, and announced by the Chinese Government to the world in January 2018, was centered on enforcing a new policy by banning 24 types of wastes and recyclables from entering the country.

Designed to improve its own environmental performance, the decision has changed globally how countries manage and process their recyclables. Twelve months along what has that decision meant to Australia and what really has changed in how we are processing and managing our recyclables?

Over a year on, Rick Ralph unbundles the facts around this complex policy decision with Nick Harford, managing director of Equilibrium and one of Australia’s leading experts on the subject.

Listen to the podcast of this conversation for an informed suite of insights and observations.

Download or listen here


Kerbside recycling market assessment tool

Kerbside recycling market assessment methodology

The importance of recycling to the Australian community, industry and local councils has been further reinforced by recent developments in China.

The act of sorting, separating and recycling our household recyclable materials is something that the public and councils consider an essential service. It is good for the environment, meets community expectations and generates positive economic activity.

A practical tool for local councils and kerbside operators

Equilibrium has been working with the Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group (MWRRG) to develop a tool* to assist local councils and kerbside service operators to assess changes to contracts in the current environment.

The methodology underpinning the tool is not intended to be prescriptive, but more so a guide that councils and others can use as it suits their particular circumstances and requirements. The tool includes instructions, examples and indicative responses to make it as easy to use and as stand-alone as possible, and to enable individual organisations to adapt it to their situation.

The MWRRG is now using this approach with Victorian Councils, and it has been widely circulated to all States, major recyclers and industry groups.

About the tool

The methodology assists parties involved with kerbside recycling service arrangements to make informed decisions on on-going arrangements. It is based on accountability, transparency and reasonableness when negotiating and agreeing to kerbside recycling service arrangements.  This approach sets out:

1. Principles of kerbside recycling services.
2. Considerations for assessing kerbside recycling service arrangements.
3. Commodity price indices, factors and calculations to inform financial considerations.
4. Monitoring and verification of agreements

The tool is straightforward to use and organisations can use it to check and test their own particular situation.

To request a copy email info@equil.com.au or call + 61 3 9372 5356

*The tool has been developed by Equilibrium OMG Pty Ltd for the Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group (MWRRG). The tool remains the property of Equilibrium OMG Pty Ltd and the MWRRG. Equilibrium OMG Pty Ltd and the MWRRG cannot accept responsibility for any use or reliance on the content of this method and associated tool by any third party