Keep styrofoam out of your garbage or pay the price

New regulations will take effect in Metro Vancouver on July 1

If you mix too much foam plastic packing with your garbage in Metro Vancouver, prepare to pay a price.

New regulations adopted by the regional district will soon double tipping fees at Lower Mainland disposal facilities when a load of trash is composed of more than 20 per cent expanded polystyrene packaging, commonly known as styrofoam, the material used to pack and distribute electronic devices and other products.

The surcharge, which takes effect July 1, will not apply to food and beverage containers, packing peanuts and any expanded polystyrene that has been painted, soiled or treated.

The regulations have not received much attention since they were approved by Metro directors last year, but the regional district is planning to publicize the change during the run-up to implementation.

Langley City councillor Rudy Storteboom, who represents the municipality on the Metro Vancouver board of directors, reported the impending change at a recent council meeting.

The goal is to get people to recycle white, unpainted expanded polystyrene which can be re-used to make new Styrofoam “or it can be recycled into products such as picture frames, crown moulding and fencing” Storteboom said.

Storteboom said residents can drop off expanded polystyrene free of charge at designated recycling depots, and businesses can send it for recycling at local facilities for a fee.

Metro disposal ban inspectors have been educating customers about the upcoming requirements since January.

The charge will be applied at Metro Vancouver and City of Vancouver transfer stations, the waste-to-energy facility and the Vancouver Landfill.

A Metro Vancouver report said expanded polystyrene represents one to two per cent of all garbage by weight in the region, with 10,500 tonnes dumped every year.

By volume, it is “one of the largest material categories in the waste stream without a disposal ban,” the report stated, and even with local recycling options, roughly 80 per cent ends up in landfills instead of being recycled.

At Metro Vancouver disposal facilities, loads are inspected for banned materials that can pose a risk to waste collection workers, the public, or the environment.

A $65 minimum surcharge, plus the potential cost of removal, clean-up or remediation is applied to loads containing banned hazardous and operational impact materials or product stewardship materials.

A surcharge of 50 per cent of the tipping fee on the entire load will be applied to loads containing banned recyclable materials.

Instead of disposing of those items in the garbage, banned recyclable materials can be dropped off for recycling – visit metrovancouverrecycles.org for a list of locations.

READ MORE: Trash haulers rail against proposed Metro Vancouver waste rules



dan.ferguson@langleytimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Surrey Board of Trade fears SkyTrain expansion will impede other transit needs

‘We need transit improvements in all of Surrey,’ Anita Huberman says

Public hearing set for two Surrey modular housing projects for homeless

Surrey council set to vote Monday on projects in Guildford, Whalley

North Delta Secondary teacher up for B.C. education award

Prabhjot Grewal is up for a Premier’s Award for Excellence in Education in the Outstanding New Teacher category

Publication ban lifted on transgender complainant’s name in Surrey waxing dispute

Jessica Yaniv filed 13 discrimination claims against salons, one in Surrey, based on gender identity

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Former Fernie Ghostrider re-signs with Vancouver Canucks

Josh Teves has signed a two-year contract with the NHL team

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

UPDATE: West Kelowna fawn euthanized, not claimed by sanctuary

Gilbert the deer has been euthanized after a suitable home was not found in time

BC Wildfire Service warns wet weather no reason to be complacent

Fire risk currently low for much of B.C. compared to same time over last two years.

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests

Home sales softened last year after the federal government introduced new stress test rules for uninsured mortgages

Trudeau says Ottawa open to proposals for B.C. refinery as gas prices soar

Prime minister says he knows B.C. residents are struggling and the federal government is open to ideas

Most Read