SHARE
Change of plan . . . Gore Pakeke Lions Club recycling co-conveners Neil McPhail (left) and John Falconer are sad to announce the club will no longer be a dropping off point for waste paper. However, it will continue to process cardboard and plastic for recycling. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

Lions club paying $89 per tonne for disposal

Paper previously processed at the Gore Pakeke Lions Club recycling factory is now destined for the districts’ landfills.

About 200 tonnes of waste paper a year has been baled and sold for recycling at the Hokonui Dr premises.

For the past 10 years, club members have prepared the paper for sale but today the factory stopped receiving contributions.

Lions club spokesman John Falconer said the market for the paper had disappeared.

“It is with regret that Pakeke Lions announces that it is unable to continue to receive all paper of any quality until further notice,” Mr Falconer said.

On Wednesday, Mr Falconer met Gore Mayor Tracy Hicks and Gore District Council chief executive Steve Parry to discuss the issue.

“It was agreed because of these circumstances all paper would need to go to the landfill, which is an undesirable outcome.”

In 2008, the club received $120 a tonne for the paper but now needed to pay to dispose of it.

“At the present time newspaper is negative $89 per tonne offered to us.”

Two thousand tonnes of paper had been processed and sold since 2010.

It was possible if a market opened up for the paper, the club might collect it again, he said.

Club members would still process cardboard and plastic film for recycling.

“There is still a market for both.”

The club would also continue to collects books and magazines for its annual book sale.

In 10 years, about $800,000 had been channelled back into the community as a result of the club’s recycling projects.

The drop in income was expected to have “a major effect on the club’s ability to financially support the community clubs and individuals at past levels”.

Mr Hicks said the council supported the Lions club’s position.

“It’s sad the recycling scene has got to the point it has, but [the council] completely understand and agree with what Pakeke Lions are doing,” Mr Hicks said.

The council was in the process of evaluating what to do with the district’s waste.

“It is a very rapidly changing scene.

“Government are looking at some initiatives but the world market has tightened up considerably and options that were there even a year ago are not there now.”

It was ironic, now people were so conscious of recycling, there were few options to dispose of materials.

“It’s taken 10-12 years to educate everyone and people are really in the right mindset to do the right thing and just providing the options for them is very challenging.”

Dumping the paper in the landfill was “far from ideal”.

“Hopefully there’s going to be a solution in the not-too-distant future, but there is nothing on the horizon as we speak.

“It won’t be just us .. the whole community right around the province and right across the nation are finding themselves in exactly the same situation.”