Students enjoyed the annual track meet at SAMS

Residents urged to recycle with onset of new program at Thorsen Creek

Residents urged to recycle with onset of new program at Thorsen Creek

Over the next few weeks, Valley residents will notice some changes taking place at the Thorsen Creek Waste and Recycling Centre. These changes are centered on the launch of the Multi-Material BC (MMBC) recycling program. Starting May 19, 2014, businesses that supply packaging and printed paper to BC residents will be responsible for collecting and managing these materials so they can be recycled.

The Central Coast Regional District has entered into a contract with MMBC to collect residential recyclable packaging and printed paper on their behalf. In return for financial incentives, the CCRD will provide a staffed depot for collection, sorting and storage of materials.

Traditionally municipalities or regional districts have paid for the bulk of recycling across the province. The cost of transporting and marketing recyclables was always an impediment to recycling efforts in Bella Coola. By signing up with MMBC, the Regional District can now afford to offer Valley residents a comprehensive recycling program.

It is important to note that we will only be able to accept residential packaging and printed paper. At this point in time, we cannot accept recyclables from institutional, commercial or industrial locations. Efforts will be made to find a way to integrate paper and cardboard from local schools, businesses and government institutions.

Landfill space is at a premium. Across the province it is becoming increasingly expensive to landfill materials and to get approvals for landfill expansion. Every cubic meter of remaining space in our landfill can be assigned a monetary value. The value of air space in our landfill is equal to the cost we would pay to transport our waste to a regional landfill halfway across the province, plus the cost these landfills would charge to accept that waste. If you think this is fictional, you only have to look as far as Bella Bella, where they are forced to barge waste to Vancouver, where it is then hauled by railway to Washington State for disposal.

The message that Valley residents need to understand and buy into is the critical importance of waste diversion from our landfill. Recycling is not just about reducing our environmental footprint. Recycling is going to dramatically increase the lifespan of our landfill and save tax dollars.

Please take advantage of the recycling opportunities we do have locally. The Bella Coola Recycling Depot at the entrance to Walker Island accepts a wide variety of items ranging from light fixtures to car batteries.

The Thorsen Creek Recycling Depot will now accept almost any kind of packaging from products you buy at local grocery and hardware stores. Shake out all those empty bags of potting soil, collect those old catalogues and junk mail, rinse out your yogurt tubs and pickle jars and bring them all to our depot. We are open Wednesdays and Saturdays 8:30-5:30. Feel free to email the CCRD Public Works Manager at pwm@ccrd-bc.ca for further information on this initiative. Check out the CCRD website www.ccrd-bc.ca for a detailed list of recyclables accepted under this program.