CEO raises valid MMBC concerns

Bravo to Buckerfield’s.

Kelvin McCullough, CEO of Vancouver Island-based Buckerfield’s, which has eight stores in B.C., says the company has no intention of paying for the provincial government’s plans to have Ontario’s Multi Materials BC take over its blue box recycling program May 19.

It’s always heartwarming to see David stand up to Goliath. Buckerfield’s is one of many businesses who have decided to stand up against Premier Christy Clark’s heavy handed move to dismantle a program that works, and works well.

Clark’s move would be in favour of MMBC, a move that could be accompanied by job losses and will result in increased recycling costs for all concerned.

Even the B.C. Chamber of Commerce, which has unfortunately chosen a path that seems to automatically guarantee rubberstamping government policy without first soliciting members who would be adversely affected, has acknowledged there are legitimate concerns with the MMBC deal.

The B.C. chamber needs to remember that it represents businesses in this province – the vast majority of which are small-to medium-sized enterprises. It is an organization created to look out for its members, and should never be a pom-pom waving policy cheerleader for the provincial government, whether it says it is "free enterprise" or not.

Understandably, Delta doesn’t want a part of this and has opted out from the start.

However, Surrey and White Rock city councils have signed on to the MMBC deal, with the right to opt out. This is causing plenty of concern for businesses – particularly the newspaper industry and companies that produce or distribute flyers.

The British Columbia Yukon Community Newspapers Association is strongly considering pulling out of the blue box program entirely and starting its own, which poses significant cost issues for the program.

As it sits, newspaper is the most valuable recyclable in the box at $120 a ton. That loss in revenue would have to be made up somewhere, and surprise – that would be residential taxpayers and businesses.

As BCYCNA president Hugh Nicholson says: "Without newspaper recycling, the blue box programs would collapse. This is a Trojan horse, not a gift horse."

As has been stated earlier, this shift to MMBC is part of a larger change in provincial regulations that would see the responsibility for managing the recycling of packaging and printed paper shift away from governments and taxpayers and onto industry and its consumers.

As part of this new "producer-pay" model, businesses selling packaged goods or supplying printed paper have to now be legally and financially responsible for the costs of recycling.

John Hinds, CEO of Newspapers Canada, is also steadfastly against the plan.

"The current system is good for the environment, and good for communities to make decisions about what and how they want to recycle," said Hinds. "And basically, this is transferring it to an international or national group of packagers. I’m not convinced that transferring it internationally is going to have any impact on packaging."

So we applaud Buckerfield’s for taking this stand and rising its voice above the chorus that is taking the provincial government to task for the projected change. Yes, it is going to be costly for business to implement, but it is taxpayers who will also be hard hit when it’s introduced.

The May 19 start date is just around the corner. Let’s see how finely tuned the government’s hearing is to the marketplace.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey RCMP cruisers outside a Newton townhouse Tuesday night. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
UPDATE: Toddler in hospital, woman dead following stabbings at Surrey townhouse

Police say two-year-old was among victims found at townhouse complex in the 12700-block of 66 Avenue

Renee
Bigger for 2020, online Surrey conference clicks with writers from around the world

Registrants from 17 countries for ‘SiWC At Home’ edition of the annual event

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. (Graeme Roy/The Canadian Press)
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of Oct. 18

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

A reminder to students at Surrey’s Strawberry Hill Elementary to physically distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Diamond School in Surrey reporting COVID-19 exposure

INTERACTIVE TABLE: Search for schools, organize by exposure dates

FILE – People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing facility in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, August 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

Three new healthcare outbreaks also announced

Fraser Health is promoting that everyone get a flu shot, which are now available.
Flu shots more important during pandemic

Symptoms of flu and COVID-19 overlap, and so do precautions

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a news conference Tuesday October 20, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau and his family decide against trick-or-treating this year due to COVID

Adhering to local health authorities, Trudeau urges Canadians to do their part in following those guidelines

A Tim Hortons employee hands out coffee from a drive-through window to a customer in Mississauga, Ont., on March 17, 2020. Tim Hortons is ending the practice of double cupping hot drinks, a move the fast food restaurant says will eliminate hundreds of millions of cups from landfills each year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
The end of double cupping: Tim Hortons ditches two cups in favour of one with sleeve

Most recycling facilities in Canada don’t recycle single use paper coffee cups because of a plastic lining

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer doctor Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Tuesday October 20, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s chief public health doctor says in the age of social media, fake news about the COVID-19 pandemic has been spreading faster than the virus itself. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
VIDEO: Fake news creates serious issues for battling pandemic, chief public health doc says

Both Tam and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged Canadians to be responsible about the information they share

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Maple Meadows Station’s new Bike Parkade. TransLink photo
TransLink to remove abandoned or discarded bicycles from bike parkades

Rules at TransLink bike parkades ask customers to use facilities for single day use only

This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID/NIH via AP
At least 49 cases of COVID-19 linked to wedding in Calgary: Alberta Health

McMillan says the city of Calgary has recently seen several outbreaks linked to social gatherings

UBC geoscientists discovered the wreckage of a decades-old crash during an expedition on a mountain near Harrison Lake. (Submitted photo)
Wreckage of decades-old plane crash discovered on mountain near Harrison Lake

A team of Sts’ailes Community School students helped discover the twisted metal embedded in a glacier

Most Read