Short honeymoon for MMBC

Castlegar councillor speaks out against new recycling scheme

One day after its launch, the Multi Materials BC (MMBC) recycling program has drawn criticism from Castlegar Council.

The issue was raised by Councillor Sue Heaton-Sherstobitoff during the regular City Council meeting on May 20.

To an exclamation of “Hear, hear,” from Coun. Gord Turner, Heaton-Sherstobitoff moved that council express dissatisfaction with aspects of the highly publicized process being conducted by the Ontario-based MMBC. She said she has heard many negative reviews on the topic. What becomes of plastic bags… and glass are two of the points she described as problematic. She declared that it’s all the more noticeable given the policy that Castlegar had practiced up until the MMBC routine kicked in on May 19.

The councillor expanded upon her sentiments to media members at the meeting’s conclusion.

“A lack of consultation with communities and the public is a big concern of mine,” she elaborated. “They’re trying to use a cookie-cutter approach for all the communities. In Castlegar we had a really progressive recycling program. Now we don’t, we’re going backwards. For one thing, they don’t collect glass.” She described how a good deal of the expected payments is being channeled elsewhere.

“The money we said a few months ago that we’d be saving because we’re getting an incentive back from the government, we’ve had to use that now for a contract to pick up glass. So it’s not a saving to the people.”

Heaton-Sherstobitoff expressed the worry that if any part of recycling program presents inconvenience, people may revert to just tossing everything in the garbage.

The motion put forth, which council carried, was clarified by Heaton-Sherstobitoff:

“To go back to the government and to MMBC and say, ‘These are the issues that we have. The costs are becoming a reality to us now. It’s costing us to be part of this program.’

“The government,” she summed up, “needs to know that.”

In another matter from the meeting, Coun. Dan Rye indicated the result of a poll, that closed May 9, the name Millennium Park was the majority choice for the downtown park along the Columbia River. He then moved that name be designated for the facility and the motion was carried.