One hundred schools have been told to dump 40 tonnes of paper originally intended for recycling as a voluntary programme folded yesterday. The move came as 5,000 tonnes of waste paper piled up around the SAR awaiting export. It has accumulated at the rate of 500 tonnes a day since the collapse of recycler Concordia Paper Ltd, which handled that amount locally. 'It's sad news, but there's no alternative but to stop the programme,' said Steve Choi Sau-yim, director of Better Environment Hong Kong which had co-ordinated the scheme since September. Mr Choi said no one else was interested in collecting the paper for an export market already flooded with bales of cardboard, newspapers and office waste. But he said Hong Kong waste paper was of notoriously low quality, often soaked in water by balers to increase prices, paid according to weight. 'There's no export market and now there's no local recycler - paper is just piling up at the port,' he said. Mr Choi said the Government needed to do more than promote recycling, because there was no market and no industry to support collection. 'I don't want them to subsidise it, but they need to put some more research into it to find out how we can re-use the paper in Hong Kong, bring down collection costs, or bring in the Urban Council.' Land available at cheap rents and tax breaks for businesses using recycling technology were being considered, an Environmental Protection Department spokesman said. But collectors described their situation as 'doomed'. 'The price of waste paper is so low that we can't even cover our costs,' said Chan Yiu, of the Hang Fat Waste Paper Metal Company in Kwun Tong. Lui Hon-chu, manager of the Ping Kee Waste Paper Company in Central, said prices had fallen from $400 to $500 per tonne to $200 - 'not even enough to pay the workers' wages', he said. 'We are doing environmental protection business. The Government should back us up. Without Government support, we can't survive any longer.'