Necessity is still the mother of invention.
The prohibition by China of Australian recycling may have thrown a massive spanner in the works of waste disposal but it has also opened a door of opportunity.
Australians were forced to realise all over again when it comes to rubbish that out of sight is not out of mind.
Ten weeks into its own big leap into new habits, Ballarat is still getting used to what to do with its glass.
But as several local recyclers have shown, the dilemma can, with some effort and investment, turn waste into a resource.
The problem in this circular economy is making the end commodity more valuable, not only to offset the processing, but to pose a clear cost advantage over wasteful precedents.
Right now the challenge seems daunting and many of the solutions improbable.
But the first electric cars and wind generators seemed alien and impractical once too.
Because as always it is that combination of flexibility and daring, the hallmarks of human ingenuity, which can reveal just what is possible.