The new year will bring changes to Columbia Shuswap Regional District recycling depots.
The regional district’s residential recycling program is transitioning to a new, industry-led recycling program managed by Multi Materials BC (MMBC).
The CSRD will receive financial compensation through its agreement with MMBC to operate the residential depot collection program.
Similar to other return-to-depot programs such those for tires, electronics and paint recycling, the CSRD’s Solid Waste Management Plan dictates if there is an industry-led program in place, the management and costs associated with delivering the program should be the responsibility of the industry.
“MMBC’s obligations include funding many aspects of the depot-collection program, which is currently funded entirely through taxation,” says CSRD environmental services team leader Ben Van Nostrand. “Transferring to the MMBC model shifts the costs and responsibilities to industry, rather than the taxpayer.”
Some business organizations, including the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses, the BC Agriculture Council, the B.C. Bottle and Recycling Depot and the Canadian Newspaper Association are opposed to the program proposed by MMBC. They argue the program punishes business with high fees, which will be passed on to the consumer.
Businesses are exempt from the fees if they have under $1 million of retail sales, generate less than a tonne of material or operate out of a single retail outlet, while generators of one to five tonnes per year pay flat fees of $550 or $1,200.
The new MMBC program will allow residents to recycle additional items that are currently not accepted in the program, such as aerosol containers, Styrofoam, film plastic (plastic bags) and disposable drink cups.
These items are in addition to the existing collection of paper and cardboard, plastic and tin containers and glass.
The new program will require residents to sort their recycling into six different categories, and recycling depot sites will be staffed with hours of operation to ensure only recyclable products are accepted.
The new sorting categories are:
• Containers (includes plastic, metal, and paper that contained liquid (i.e. disposable coffee cups)
• Paper (includes printed paper, cardboard and packaging of dry goods)
• Plastic bags
• White Styrofoam
• Coloured Styrofoam
The MMBC program is for residential use only and businesses will have to find alternate collection options.
Check the CSRD website for program information, depot locations and hours of operation.
For more information, call Ben Van Nostrand at 250-833-5940 or Carmen Fennell at 250-833-5936.