The Columbia Shuswap Regional District maintains that recycling dropped off at their landfills and transfer stations is in good hands (Black Press File Photo)

Recyclable plastics collected in Shuswap not burned or sent to landfill

Columbia Shuswap Regional District and Recycle BC respond to “misleading report”

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) wants to set the record straight on what happens to plastic recycling after it is dropped into the bins at one of their landfills or transfer stations.

Responding to a recently aired CBC Marketplace story about challenges around recycling plastics in B.C., the CSRD, in a news release, states its recycling program is administered by Recycle BC, which sends 99 per cent of the plastics it collects to a firm called Merlin Plastics, which has facilities in Delta and New Westminster.

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As part of the Marketplace investigation, they executed one-time transactions for the recycling of bales of soft plastics with three waste management companies and then tracked the results. Merlin Plastics recycled the material while one of the other firms sent it to a waste-to-energy facility that creates power by incinerating garbage. The other firm sent it to landfill.

A statement from Recycle BC says British Columbians can be secure in the knowledge they will properly manage approved plastic packaging which is diverted to them. It also says B.C. has the most advanced process for managing residential recycling anywhere in Canada.

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The Recycle BC statement also notes that a business-to-business transaction, such as the one which was tracked in the Marketplace investigation, does not fully capture the checks and balances in the province’s residential recycling system.

“The stakes could not be higher – the world is faced with a global plastics crisis – and this misleading report could erode faith in a system that is producing the best environmental outcomes in Canada, which is a disservice to the people of B.C., Canada and the world,” the statement reads.


@SalmonArm
jim.elliot@saobserver.net

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