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Chance upcoming in Salmon Arm to recycle those piles of light bulbs

Recycling event scheduled in Shaw Centre parking lot, environment ministry urges set up of depot
The Columbia Shuswap Regional District has announced that Product Care is offering a free light bulb recycling event in Salmon Arm on Wednesday, Nov. 24 from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Shaw Centre parking lot. (CSRD image)

Although Salmon Arm doesn’t have a depot for recycling light bulbs, a temporary solution is on the way.

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District has announced that the Product Care Association (PCA), the non-profit organization responsible for providing recycling solutions for post-consumer products including light bulbs, is offering a free light bulb recycling event in Salmon Arm.

Residents are invited to bring their light bulbs on Wednesday, Nov. 24 from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. to the Shaw Centre parking lot.

Regarding the current lack of a place to take used light bulbs in Salmon Arm, Ben Van Nostrand, team leader with the CSRD’s environmental health services, said in a recent interview with the Observer that the CSRD is currently negotiating with PCA to have an option for recycling bulbs at the landfill in Salmon Arm. He said the negotiations are focused on “what they will fund to offset the costs of us carrying out their program.”

Van Nostrand said the CSRD is willing to participate, but the cost shouldn’t be on the backs of the taxpayers as they’ve already paid an environmental fee with the light bulbs. He also noted that local businesses are not willing to participate as drop-off depots for light bulbs – an indication they aren’t being adequately compensated.

Read more: Problem recycling light bulbs in Salmon Arm part of bigger issue

Following that interview, the provincial Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy responded via email to questions from the Observer. The comments included a recommendation that the PCA re-establish a collection facility in Salmon Arm.

It stated that under B.C.’s Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) program, producers are responsible for collecting and recycling the light bulbs and fixtures they sell.

The PCA, meanwhile, is a non-profit organization formed by manufacturers and/or sellers of light bulbs and lighting equipment to fulfill their regulatory requirements for collection and recycling.

“It (the PCA) is required to have a ministry-approved plan in place that includes sufficient provincial collection service level commitments which they have met under the current plan.”

The ministry stated the PCA’s plan is up for renewal this spring.

“As part of the plan renewal process, the ministry has recommended the PCA re-establish a collection facility in the community as part of expected improvements.”

“PCA will be holding stakeholder consultation to inform the development of its new EPR light bulb and lighting equipment program plan, and we expect that a solution will be reached,” stated the ministry email.

It concluded by stating that under the Recycling Regulation, producers and/or the stewardship agency are responsible for meeting the commitments set out in their approved plan. Administrative Monetary Penalties (AMPs) can ultimately be issued for up to $40,000 per office per day for failing to meet the commitments.

Read more: Light bulb recycling no longer available in Salmon Arm

Read more: Read more: Improper waste disposal leaves Okanagan worker with serious injury
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Martha Wickett

About the Author: Martha Wickett

came to Salmon Arm in May of 2004 to work at the Observer. I was looking for a change from the hustle and bustle of the Lower Mainland, where I had spent more than a decade working in community newspapers.
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