Not all pleased with recycling changes

Many factors involved in efforts to revamp curbside collection program

  • Mar. 28, 2014 4:00 p.m.

Betsy Kline

Castlegar News contributor


Changes are coming soon to the way recyclables in British Columbia are being handled, but not without opposition. Changes in BC Recycling Regulation are set to shift the responsibility from local governments and citizens to the businesses that produce the materials. The new system is set to begin on May 19, 2014.

Both the City of Castlegar and the Regional District of Central Kootenay have opted to join a system managed by Multi-Material B.C. The city will receive incentives from MMBC to manage the curb side pick-up program at the local level. Eighty-eight BC communities have joined the MMBC program.

According to the company’s web site, “Multi-Material British Columbia is an industry-led and -funded non-profit organization that will assume responsibility for managing residential packaging and printed paper on behalf of industry.” MMBC is a member of the Canadian Stewardship Services Alliance. The CSSA has launched similar programs in other provinces.

When asked what benefits the new program would provide to Castlegar, Allen Langdon, Managing Director of MMBC stated, “Incentive payments to the city will help cover the costs of the recycling program that previously was paid for by taxpayers. Another benefit is the addition of ten new materials that will be included in the recycling program.”

The new materials that will now be collected in curb side recycling programs throughout the province include gable top containers (milk  cartons), aerosol containers, plant pots, aluminum foil containers, asceptic containers (soy milk, soup containers), plastic clam shell containers, paper packaging coated with wax or plastic, and drink cups. Foam packaging?

Mr. Langdon also stated, “Castlegar residents should expect a seamless transition. They should notice no difference in collection from the week before May 19 to the week after.” City of Castlegar officials were not available for comments before press deadline.

Multiple business organizations are against the changes including the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, Newspapers Canada, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, and the B.C. Agricultural Council. The organizations are opposed to the high fees that will be charged to the manufacturers resulting in a burden that may be too heavy for some to carry.