Cash for cans scheme unnecessary – rely on market forces instead

The Fairfax papers are reporting that Green groups rubbish recycling delay:

Waste crusader Ian Kiernan is angered that commonwealth and state leaders keep dithering on a national “cash for cans” style recycling scheme.

The Clean Up Australia Day founder is astonished at the reluctance to broaden a scheme that sees 88 per cent of cans and bottles recycled in South Australia, compared to 35 per cent in the rest of the country.

If recycling makes economic sense, the private sector will do it anyway.  As we run out of aluminium and other resources, the prices of these resources will rise, encouraging private conservation efforts.  At the moment, it’s cheaper to produce new aluminium than it is to collect and recycle existing aluminium in cans.  But, if there ever is an acute shortage of aluminium in the world, no doubt we’ll see people digging into rubbish bins and landfill dumps to find old cans to recycle.

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