One of two remaining waste paper recycling firms has closed for a week from Friday after a drastic fall in international prices for recycled paper. South China Paper, the largest of the two main recycling firms, told collectors it would not accept any waste paper until May 5. Local recyclers have been forced to slow down production after the prices they can charge for their recycled goods fell from a high of $800 a tonne last year to about $400 to $500, according to Wu Sui-man, who collects paper to pass to the recyclers. She said the price drop would discourage local efforts at recovering waste paper. 'We will tell people not to pick too much waste paper from public housing estates as there is not sufficient demand for it,' Ms Wu said. Refuse collection teams at estates are paid 10 cents per kg of paper. Because of the fall in prices, waste paper will be taken to landfills instead. South China Paper took over from the Concordia Paper Company after Concordia closed in 1998. The chief executive officer of concern group Green Power, Dr Man Chi-sum, said the new shutdown would further hit waste paper prices. 'If South China refuses to accept paper, the price going to others might drop. As a result, people will not be motivated to collect,' he said. Dr Man hoped the Government would release a piece of land at the old Kai Tak airport for storage of waste paper for recycling. A spokesman for the Environmental Protection Department said the Government would consider the idea.