Clarifiying some points in recycling plan

The deposit-return system is an important part of the Ministry of Environment's business model.

The Recycling Council of B.C. would like to clarify some information published in Jeff Nagel’s story titled, “Cities question package recycling plan.”

First of all, the addition of Packaging and Printed Paper (PPP) as Schedule 5 of the Recycling Regulation does not affect beverage containers currently collected through a deposit-refund system. In fact the Ministry of Environment (MoE) held a full day public consultation on the beverage container program the day before Mr. Nagel’s story was published.

At that session, MoE staff clearly heard from the public and industry that the deposit system works. In the case of the beer industry, refillable bottles, the core of a deposit-return system, is an important part of its business model.

The one thing that has been made clear by industry regarding the soon-to-come PPP program, through a series of ongoing public engagement meetings held this fall, there is no intention for deposits or added fees. And while the program’s initial focus is residential, the intent is to phase in service to the institutional and commercial sectors within a few years.

As for concerns that what is collected may be shipped out of province, the Recycling Council would welcome the opportunity to develop sustainable jobs here in B.C. with the material collected through recycling. But the truth is that much of what is currently collected by municipalities leaves the province. Paper, newsprint, cardboard and metal prices are all based on international commodity prices and traded in a free market system.

How much is collected in municipal blue box programs overall and where it goes is not accurately known as there has never been a comprehensive survey of recycling done in B.C. However, you can access a required-by-regulation annual report for each industry stewardship agency online with metrics that outline what and how much is collected and the end-of-life management process.

The number of programs regulated under the Recycling Regulation will grow over the next decade from the current dozen to more than 30. As more and more is shifted from taxpayer responsibility to industry and consumers, B.C.’s polluter-pay approach provides the best way to remove costs to local government and create the opportunity for a closed-loop zero-waste system.

If anything, municipalities should be trying to accelerate the introduction of industry stewardship programs so they can focus on issues such as organics management for which they will remain responsible.

 

Brock Macdonald

Executive Director

Recycling Council of B.C.

Just Posted

The ‘Upside Down’ is coming to Surrey with ‘One Man Stranger Things’ parody

Charles Ross one-man act based on first two seasons of hit Netflix show

Surrey councillor wants the policing transition process to ‘immediately stop’

Brenda Locke to make motion at Dec. 16 meeting to reconsider current plan

City of Surrey says pension benefits ‘guaranteed’ for police recruits

A National Police Federation representative says it may not be enough incentive

Surrey-area teens will have a ball at Christmas, thanks to collection effort

Realty company’s Bring on the Balls campaign now in its third year

Surrey groups receive funding for training support for people 55-plus

PICS getting $728K to help 120 people over two years

MAP: Christmas light displays in Surrey and beyond

Send us pictures of your National Lampoon-style lit-up homes, nativity scenes or North Pole playlands

Sharks beat Canucks 4-2 to snap 6-game skid

Vancouver visits Vegas on Sunday

Fans sing Canadian anthem after sound system breaks at BMW IBSF World Cup

The Canadians in attendance made sure their team and flag were honoured on the podium

VIDEO: Fire destroys Big White Ski Resort chalet

Social media eulogies peg the property, nicknamed “The Pharamacy,” as both loved and hated

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Man pleads guilty to second-degree murder in 2017 Stanley Park stabbing

Lubomir Kunik was found by a man out walking his dog on the beach late on Feb. 1, 2017

Vancouver homeless camp brings community, safety, home, says resident

Encampment in the city’s Downtown Eastside is one of many that have sprung up in B.C.

Nanaimo mechanical engineer creates thief tracking program

Nanaimo Thief Tracking lets users plot and share information about thefts online

Most Read