A resolution to the issue of how certain recyclable waste will be dealt with is drawing closer.
Decisions are being made at the municipal level on whether to go with a system orchestrated by an industry stewardship organization called Multi Material B.C. The deadline for those decisions across the province is Saturday, Nov. 30.
Castlegar City Council, on Nov. 27 unanimously chose to join the program. As a willing participant the city will receive incentive payments from MMBC to act as recycling contractors in the new system.
At the regional level a similar choice was made recently by the Regional District of Central Kootenay.
Had the civic government not opted for inclusion in the MMBC scheme there could have been a locally devised alternative, or the continuation of current pickup system.
The changes relate to a provincial government ruling that places responsibility for recovery and recycling upon the companies that generate or distribute packaging and printed paper.
“There are more positives than negatives in going ahead and accepting it,” said councillor Gord Turner on the topic a day after the vote. “It seems like if we didn’t sign it then all of the recycling is out of our control. There are so many variables. Having signed it, we basically can control it.”
Councillor Sue Heaton Sherstobitoff was equally affirmative on the vote to go with MMBC.
“We can tender the recycling portion ourselves,” she explained on Nov. 28, “and it might save the taxpayers a little bit of money, depending on who actually ends up with the contract.”
Heaton-Sherstobitoff referred to the fact that the recycling issue had been discussed in depth at the recent Union of BC Municipalities convention, and that arrangements for the handling of some materials will have to be made.
“Glass manufacturers are not part of the MMBC group,” she mentioned. “So we might have to have a separate depot, maybe at the (community) complex.”
For his part, Allen Langdon, Managing Director of MMBC was upbeat on the news he’d been receiving from around B.C. on Nov. 28, even though the vote results from a number of communities had not yet been completed or made public. He was pleased, for example, to hear Castlegar was ‘in.’
“It’s our expectation that almost every municipality accepted the offer. It’s really encouraging to see so many local governments decide to join the program.”