Cash For Trash! – Will People Pay For Your Waste? 💵Podcast Ep. 5
Cash For Trash! – Will People Pay For Your Waste 💵Podcast Ep. 5
In our fifth episode of our podcast series – we discuss whether it is possible that you will get cash for trash – or money for your waste in the future?
Transcript – Cash For Trash! – Will People Pay For Your Waste?
Hello and welcome to another edition of our regular podcast on all things recycling and environment oriented called – Recycle: Don’t be a Waster. Today we want to talk about the I suppose the concept that might seem a bit yeah too good to be true it might seem a bit like you know pie in the sky and that is in the future will people pay you for your waste, will companies or the government or whoever it is will they actually pay you coal hard cash for the waste that you produce. Obviously this you know in 2021 when we record this this seems preposterous I think everybody is used to and certainly businesses we are all very used to paying in some cases quite a lot of money to get rid of our waste and then whether it goes for recycling or whatever it is, but I think this is a concept that we covered in a video a while ago and I think we’ll expand on it a little bit more today and dig into it a bit from you know look at the different I suppose the arguments pro and con and see what we think you know I suppose the first thing where does this question come from you know this question comes from the concept of tr more and more companies call they don’t call themselves companies or recycling companies they tend to call themselves that lovely word words resource recovery. Cash for trash
You’ll see it on the side of trucks and facilities and it really I suppose you could accuse it of being a bit of green washing that a concept where you make a dirty business seem a bit more clean by wrapping it in a nice you know modern and green shell but you know I think there is some truth to it so what is resource recovery really harks to the concept that we’re digging into the rubbish we’re going through the rubbish we’re separating it out we are recycling the valuable bits the cardboard the metal you know some of the plastics those sort of things and we’re using even the food waste for you know energy production or composting we’re using any timber for you know mulching and composting and stuff like that and I suppose if you extrapolate this to the nth degree and keep it going theoretically the more resource you can recover the more efficiently you recover that resource obviously at the end of the day it will become you know a cash positive and some people might compete in the market to obtain this material and actually pay you for it.
I suppose at the beginning on cash for trash we are already seeing aspects of this you if you have certain types of waste you can receive cash for them or a rebid first one’s first clearly the most obvious in most countries certainly in Australia metal recycling will pay you a rebate depending on the type of metal you drop off certainly if it’s steel and copper those sort of metals that are extremely reusable and valuable you will certainly receive a rebate so yes it’s already happening and second issue would be in the world of cardboard generally certainly households will not receive a rebate or payment for cardboard although at Waster I’ll be honest we do get asked this question quite often there tends to be a bit of a misconception as to how valuable cardboard is but carpet is valuable but at the same time the transport element of it often cancels out the you know the potential for a rebid but if you run a large industrial company if you are bailing or compacting that waste cardboard yes in many instances you can receive a rebate that will potentially give you cash in hand or you know reduce the overall cost so generally a company might pay you a rebate based on the tonnage the amount of tons of clean compacted cardboard that they collect from you so again yes that is an element where you’re getting that benefit – clean plastics in Australia clean plastic wrap often will be collected for free it’ll be I suppose the truck the value of that plastic will cancel out the collection charge for the company and I suppose the one other category that we would mention probably is e-waste where for some e-waste that can contains you know precious metals some of them even contain silver and gold.
You may have noted that at the Japanese Olympics this year which to be honest seem a long time ago already they made most of the medals for the participants were made from mobile phones recycled mobile phones and the precious metals contained but of course e-waste also will contain quite a bit lots of metal copper aluminium and precious metals also which can be valuable so in many instances there can be a rebate also paid for e-waste but that generally is if you drop it off at a specialist facility where they separate but I suppose we get into now I suppose those items we talked about they are valuable resources they are stuff that can be recycled stuff that won’t be thrown out but if we take it to stuff that tends to be more thrown away certain countries basically they don’t dump at landfill certain countries and when I’m thinking here of Sweden and Japan.
They tend to make with most of the waste they have they tend to incinerate it for the purpose of energy creation so Sweden pretty much incinerates all the waste they produce and in modern incineration plants the power industry households cities pretty much through that through that system they’re so keen on this that they actually import waste from other countries I don’t think they actually pay for the waste from other countries but they will take it at reduced rates because to them fundamentally it is it is free energy to a large extent their facilities are modern they’re clean they have carbon capture methods pollution capture methods and fundamentally they’re burning this waste that otherwise would end up with landfill so the net greenhouse gas emissions are the same in theory what they’re doing is they’re burning that the capture calories inside those are kilojoules inside that waste they’re burning it and they’re producing energy from it that if they didn’t they would have to invest in new facilities new oil powered coal powered stations or of course invest in new hydro dams that sort of stuff solar energy. Cash for trash.
I’m not sure how much solar energy there is in northern Europe and Sweden but maybe not the most suitable for that so if we look at these countries and I know a lot of people certainly on this podcast when it’s recycling focus a lot of people will be intuitively against the concept of incineration because it’s seen as polluting it’s seen as negative for the environment much worse than recycling and accept some of those arguments but I think we’ll expand on incineration in a future episode because of the ability to you know it certainly is better to burn stuff for energy if you’re capturing it and to let it run away in landfill emit the same gases and not capture that energy so you know it’s more we got to make sure that we’re comparing the negatives and the positives and when we do that oftentimes incineration can be a net positive but again that’s something we’ll discuss in a future episode.
The other stuff that we’re seeing more and more is you know a lot of waste in bins of course is food waste decaying waste and anybody who I think it is everyone knows that rotting food smells and when rotting food smells it’s emitting methane and other greenhouse gases and other you know carbon dioxide and glasses of that nature which pollute the pollute the atmosphere but they also are they can be burned so these gases can be used to create energy similar to the incineration concept already in Australia and in many countries what we’re doing is we’re taking food waste and we’re utilizing that food waste for energy production so we are letting the waste decay capturing the gas that’s produced using that gas to burn turbines or to turn turbines create electricity and even today in 2021 we are powering hundreds of thousands of homes in Australia purely from this waste food. Cash for trash
As with anything you know technology improves over time and so what we can do today clearly in a couple of years five years down the line will be much more efficient our systems will be better you know the plants that we use to do this with gas will be smaller more accessible and even today we’re seeing of course it used to be you’d have to take the food waste and ship it to a new location you know what I would argue is that with the rise of what’s called biofuel whereby the food decays creates that gas the gas is captured this is now happening basically in domestic residences it’s happening in in houses it’s in the same way people used to have a compost plot out the back of their garden to you know let grass and stuff rot away people now kind of a biofuel system which basically looks a bit like a tent and where by the gas the food rots away it emits the gas the gas is captured and then it can be turned to burn to create energy this is particularly useful as you can imagine in the scenario of a farm if a farm is producing lots of waste food if it’s rural if it’s significantly removed from main roads which obviously makes transport etc much more expensive you can imagine that many farms particularly in outback Australia can be self-sufficient from an energy perspective.
Cash for trash.
This biofuel technology and we’ll link to it on you know on the podcast and on the video this biofuel is now it’s becoming much smaller much easier to use and it’s suitable for many domestic homes this will clearly increase you know I think we live in a society now where people are putting more and more solar panels on their roofs they’re using that solar to heat water to create electricity you know we’re doing different things with heat pumps to make our homes more energy efficient as energy increases with the inflation seemingly rampant inflation we’re facing nowadays this level of potentially free energy that we could have is something that a lot of people will over time will inevitably look at more and more so you know what we’ve done is we’ve stripped a lot of stuff even on this podcast we’ve gone through cardboard metals e-waste, some plastics and now we’re into food waste so much of what we’re discussing it’s sitting there in the bin it is valuable it will be used and it’s in many regards it’s much more green environmentally effective environmentally positive than the old-fashioned method of just dumping it so I would argue yes over the next five to ten years we will see more industry more business coming to the into this space. Cash for trash.
We will professionalize the whole scenario we will categorize and work out how much value there is in these in these in these materials and we will I would argue that certainly standalone homes that are houses private homes that are outside main towns will almost certainly be utilizing biofuel themselves this will of course reduce the need for garbage truck collection and all that sort of stuff so I would I would forecast that in the next five to ten years people will be less keen on throwing their waste out which you know I’m not going to say that people will come around bang your food from you but I could see if you were a large producer of these materials and a farmyard producing lots of waste food people potentially will pay you for that waste food to produce to reduce the energy and feed that into the national grid or their own property you know it could be that one farm in a local area goes around collects the other food waste and utilizes that to create energy and then potentially others could buy that back from them so there’s an almost once the technology improves becomes more widespread and we move from you know one big national grid producer with huge facilities we potentially move to smaller facilities where we decrease the need to transport we decrease the need for facilities in general and obviously then the we save on fuel and transporting this stuff it could be a win-win.
So will people ever purchase or pay you for your waste – yeah I think I think it is plausible I think certainly will move towards a scenario where it’s much more cost neutral, it could be a free service or getting close to free you know maybe with volatility etc and for larger producers maybe more industrial companies it could be in the scenario where people are paying them for their waste people are paying them paying them for that food waste and it could be a new revenue stream so I think everything changes and this is certainly an economic change with the whole movement towards reducing greenhouse emissions reducing new carbon-based fuels cutting back on oil on coal on those heavier polluting fuels, yeah I certainly expect that biofuel it’s inevitably going to grow as a as an energy source and as time goes on it will be I would forecast at any large farm any large private home that has a garden anyone who has a compost patch now would probably have a biofuel reactor in their back garden over the next five to twenty years. Cash for trash.
I think this fits in with lots of trains that we’re seeing you know almost going off the grid we’re seeing you know where it used to be you needed broadband cables now it’s a lot of us you know 3g and 4g and 5g so it’s through the you know it moves through the air we don’t need actual cabling and we used to be hooked up to or even cables for our television sets now again those aren’t required and a lot of these things we’re seeing where we are moving off the grid and fragmenting the actual it sounds negative fragmenting the structure of society but in some way it gives freedom and independence also to people that you know if you can maintain your own property your standalone so again there’ll be a lot of movement towards that I forecast and that would be that will be a trend of the next 15 to 20 years so again you know I like everybody else looks forward to the day when we can pay some of the pesos to take our waste and you know I look forward to hearing your comments seeing what you have to think about this concept or any feedback as always like and subscribe and comment because I believe that helps us rank better helps us spread our message and yeah until next time recycle don’t be a waster