Participation in a new cost-saving recycling program was approved by Columbia Shuswap Regional District directors – but not without discussion.
The regional district will climb on-board a depot-collection program with Multi-Media British Columbia (MMBC) on Jan. 1, 2015.
In 2012, the Ministry of the Environment amended the Recycling Regulation to include printed paper and packaging in an industry-funded program as opposed to a tax-based system.
As a result of the new program, the non-profit MMBC was formed to develop and implement a stewardship plan for printed paper and packaging (PPP).
MMBC received ministry approval for the plans on April 15 and must begin implementing the program by May 16, 2014 – including collection, processing, education and administration of printed paper and packaging programs.
“The requirement for industry to be responsible for PPP marks the first initiative where a program duplicates a service that the CSRD has taken responsibility for through a tax-funded system,” said CSRD waste management co-ordinator Ben Van Nostrand, pointing out the regional district’s participation in the provincial program will eliminate the need to collect taxes for the program.
CSRD currently provides region-wide collection through a depot program located at landfills or transfer stations.
“MMBC’s financial offer includes coverage of many costs associated with operating a depot collation program, including providing bins for collection of PPP material, bin transportation and material processing,” said Van Nostrand at the Sept. 12 board meeting, noting CSRD would continue to provide public education and quality assurance of materials collected.
“This is an exciting memo for me to put forward,” he said, noting the money saved could go to the food waste program. “They’re not asking for money and it also gives CSRD a chance to be part of a system the regional district has been pushing for years.”
Van Nostrand explained CSRD will honour existing contracts currently in place and will be ready to take part in the provincial PPP program by the end of 2014.
Van Nostrand was a member of a working group that provided feedback to the Ministry of Environment and MMBC on behalf of local governments.
“I think were going to have to have a really good communications plan; at first it was sort, sort, sort, then it became throw everything in and it’s become successful,” said Area E Rural Sicamous director Rhona Martin. “Going back to having to sort everything is going to be a problem. We also have to be careful to continue to make sure it’s fairly convenient.”
Van Nostrand agreed, noting unmanned recycling stations will need to have set hours, a supervisor on-site during those hours to make sure there is no illegal dumping and be locked up at night.
He also pointed out MMBC will supply the bins to make separation possible.