Rubbish and Wine

The other day a truck from the local council dropped off another wheelie trolley. It’s a large trolley too, being part of the new garbage salvage system that’s being implemented here, and in most other parts of our City. It’s all part of a rubbish salvage scheme that the city is entering into in grand way. A huge specialist sorting building and machinery have been constructed. Unfortunately it would seem they may have left their entry into this up market salvage campaign a little late. Possibly the produce from the multi million sorting machinery will have to be stock piled or dumped. The market to where we once sold our recovered plastic and metals has collapsed. Further to our recovery of material, Bunnings the Building Supply Store, have stopped giving out plastic bags. I suppose it’s a reaction to the plaintive cries of the do gooders, who never stop trying to save the planet, then push their kids in their gas gobbling vehicles, and drive them to school. Sometimes I wonder if today’s kids actually have legs. The absence of plastic bags for me is damned inconvenient, some merchants will give you an empty box, which only ends up cluttering the garage at home. We require a supply of plastic bags at home for our own rubbish recycling.


Well what ever happens now is going to be interesting, the market for all recycled material seems to be going, or gone. Recycled aluminium cans used to bring in up to $200 a ton. Today’s price I’m told, is only $10, when freight is factored in. At this price it’s no longer worth the effort. People in some countries in the past actually made their living by picking up cans. I noticed in India, a Bar where we were drinking a beer, wouldn’t let us depart from the bar with the ‘left over’ can to finish out in the street. China has been until recently in the market buying recycled metal and paper. They until recently had been a main player, but have announced that shortly they will be self sufficient in this area, sadly no longer interested in buying product overseas.


Thieves too will be having a hard time. Nothing was sacred here when salvaged metal prices went sky high. They stole and plundered copper and lead off Church roofs. Copper guttering and down pipes from domestic homes, metal names and dedications were chiselled off tombstones, manhole covers lifted from roads, in fact, nothing was safe from these villains.


May I add more to the current financial upheaval, someone once asked me what did I think of investing in Wine? This was about two to three years ago. My reply was that even back then, I could see signs of an ‘over supply’. People everywhere were then scrambling to get into this latest stairway to financial riches. All in the know were busy buying blocks and planting vines. I replied, it would not be an area that I would want to put my money into. I also remembered three years back when we had dined at a Winery Restaurant, just out of Fremantle. I was talking to the owner, when he told me he had three years supply of wine on the property that he couldn’t shift. He had a one season’s crop in bottles, another year in the vats, and yet a further crop unpicked on the vines. Once, he declared until recently he could sell the crop on the vines for $2000 to $3000 a ton, but with the Australian over supply, the best he could do was a pitiful $200. This is further reinforced by what is going on currently here and reflected in our Super Markets where you are greeted in their discount alley as you enter, huge stacks of Australian wine. All selling for $5 to $6 a bottle. This please note is not rubbish wine but good product, I know the Australian grower can’t be making a large or any profit at these prices. This naturally is also effecting the sale of our local product. Sure loyalty is strong, but price speaks louder. I also know a lot of New Zealand wineries are already in financial trouble as well. It’s common knowledge that some are finding that paying their bills a problem. We could be in for interesting ‘shakeout’ in wine. We should be used to these boom and bust scenarios. We have gone through many, do you remember?


Ostrich Farming,

Black Currents,


Dairy Beef,

Grass seeds,

Mohair Goats,

Fitch or Ferret Farming,


There must be many others that I have missed. All those many dreams that have crashed and burnt.



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