ENVIRONMENT, RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE: INQUIRY INTO THE RECYCLING INDUSTRY

Mr PEDERICK (Hammond) (11:24): Thank you, Mr Speaker. I have not had the opportunity yet, but I congratulate you on rising to that esteemed position in the chair. I know that you are doing and will do a fantastic job for the parliament in this state.

Today, I rise in regard to the fourth report of the Environment, Resources and Development Committee's inquiry into the recycling industry. I was very proud, as the initial chair in regard to this inquiry, to work with the committee to get this inquiry underway. We looked at many and varied parts of the recycling and waste industry to investigate how they could be more efficient and how more waste could be recycled. The China Sword policy obviously made not just South Australia but Australia and other countries focus on what they are doing in regard to exporting waste offshore.

Waste is a huge issue in society. In the visits we went on, we saw the ingenuity exemplified by the creation of jobs and industries around recycling and waste management, because there are many opportunities. Part of that opportunity comes about because of the obvious cost of dumping rubbish. The cost is amplified the closer you get to Adelaide into more urban areas, but you hear of quotes of $130 for a 6 x 4 trailer load of rubbish—6 x 4 in the old language, whatever that is in metres. That is a very expensive way to get rid of rubbish, so recycling is extremely important.

Those charges for waste can be quite counterproductive. Several years ago, we were holidaying at Geelong and talking to some families from Sunshine in Victoria, where the famous Massey Ferguson 585 and 587 headers were produced, apart from others. They were very famous in their day. But in this area at the time, and this was several years ago now, it cost $100 to dump a mattress, so they all ended up on the side of the road. People here have had issues where rubbish has been illegally dumped, whether it is on the way to a dump or somewhere else.

I guess it also relates to hard rubbish collection, which used to be a chance to go shopping for hard rubbish. You could drive down the road, and it depended on how big a vehicle you had as to how much shopping you did. One of my boys was very enterprising and used to do up pushbikes that he found and he would resell them. He had quite an industry going, recycling—

The Hon. D.C. van Holst Pellekaan: Regularly called 'Mitre 11'.

Mr PEDERICK: 'Mitre 11'—I like that from the Minister for Energy and Mining. They say one person's trash is another person's treasure and that is certainly true. Rules have been tightened up around that. It used to be quite novel, especially in large towns or in urban areas, where you could drive up and down for several weeks. I can understand why they have tightened it up because there are just rows and rows of hard rubbish. But it was a bit of a shopping frenzy. I think it is technically illegal to pick up hard rubbish.

There is so much innovative work being done, and I look at companies like Peats Soil and Jeffries, to name a couple in South Australia. Peter Wadewitz was in this place last night. As I have indicated on my register of interests—and I know he is over 18, but I put it down anyway—my eldest son does two days a week for Peats Soil out at Brinkley near Langhorne Creek. They have a major composting activity out there. They have contracts with a wide range of people. I know they deal with the Zoo and with a whole range of dead animals and plant produce that can all be recycled into compost.

Also in my electorate, up Kanmantoo-Callington way, I acknowledge Neutrog and their expansion plans. I am trying to think of their most famous manure, which they sell in a bag. I cannot think of it offhand, but they are doing very well. All these companies, especially on the organic side of things, are finding ways to get material, especially organic waste—obviously animal waste, dead animals, etc.—and turn it back into something that can promote life in gardens and farms. I know that they were looking at pellet production for fertiliser at Peats Soil. Neutrog have a vast range of products. These are industries that are only going to grow in the future. From memory, I think the product from Neutrog is called Whoflungdung.

We also saw inorganic material, as the member for MacKillop mentioned in his contribution. I note that we went to the Fulton Hogan yard in Dry Creek. My brother Chris works there, under contract with another company under Fulton Hogan, in recycling bitumen. It is great work. It causes the crusher a fair bit of grief, but obviously with the 1,000 kilometres of roadworks that we are doing as a government throughout this state that company is very busy recycling bitumen.

It is only when you drive around the urban areas, as you do when we are here on sitting weeks, that you realise how much bitumen gets chewed up at night here in the city when roadworks are done so that they are not being done during peak hours. That is great work, and the odd few loads that cannot be milled for whatever reason—it could be out of spec for the bitumen recycling—can be sold for a pretty good rate. I know that a lot of farmers can put it in their driveways or gateway entrances, so it can all be used in a recycled manner. As the member for MacKillop indicated, a lot of the concrete, steel and building materials used in construction are re-used time and time again. We saw this right around the state.

It was great to visit Whyalla and see the work they are doing at the steelworks, as well as seeing Peats Soil's new yard in Whyalla. Down at Millicent and Mount Gambier, we saw a company in Robe (the member for MacKillop will help me with the name) that is very innovative in what it is doing with recycling plastic bread tags. It is doing fantastic work. Anything, even a bread tag, can be recycled. I think a few years ago the Meningie Area School did a project where they collected a million bread tags so that students could see what a million of something looked like. That would have been an effort in itself.

An honourable member: That's a lot of bread.

Mr PEDERICK: It is a lot of bread. What we saw in the main is that efforts need to step up. There is a vast range of recommendations, but one thing that really stood out was a recommendation from one of the biggest recyclers at Mount Gambier. I know that we do recycling with the coloured bins and that it does get a bit confusing the more coloured bins we get, but his biggest issue was the amount of broken glass from wine bottles that ends up with the paper in the yellow bins. Glass can be recycled, so it is a lot better if you take your wine bottles or other bottles to the bottle collection depots, of which there are many here because of our world-class container deposit legislation in this state. It gives a lot better outcome for the re-usable glass, instead of it contaminating the paper waste.

In the last few seconds, I would like to commend everyone on the committee and everyone in the industry for their work in this space. When really you look at it, you can recycle just about everything. I commend everyone's work in the field.