The CCRD has moved to enter an agreement that will see recycling radically increased in the Bella Coola Valley.
The new Public Works Manager, Ken McIlwain, recommended that the Board of Directors approve entering into a contract with Multi-Materials BC to be a member of the MMBC Recycling Incentive Program, and at last Thursday’s Board meeting, the Board approved the motion. The program would require that the CCRD be an MMBC contractor and would be responsible for collecting, organizing and storing almost any form of printed paper and plastic and glass packaging.
“Participation in the new MMBC stewardship program marks an important shift in the way we view recyclables. Up until now, the high cost of transporting recyclables out of the Valley has been a major hurdle to implementing a more comprehensive recycling program,” said McIlwain. “Under this new contract, MMBC will incur the costs associated with transporting all residential PPP (Packaging and Printed Paper) recyclables. The CCRD will be paid anywhere from $180/tonne to $505/tonne for baled recyclables. Rather than being a liability, we can now manage recyclables as a commodity.”
MMBC is the result of government legislation that requires industry to be responsible for recycling the packaging of their products. MMBC is a non-profit society formed by producers, much like Encorp, that is operated by a Board of Directors. MMBC is acting as a stewardship agency on behalf of these companies in order to discharge their obligations under Schedule 5 of BC’s Recycling Regulation.
The legislation will take effect in May 2014, and local governments will continue to operate their recycling programs until that date, when responsibility transitions to industry.
As part of enhancing the recycling program and meeting changes to legislation, the CCRD Board has already resolved to purchase a vertical baler at its October meeting. The baler is an essential piece of equipment to recycling cardboard, paper products, and plastic containers.
There are several requirements of the MMBC contract that the CCRD will have to meet before operations begin. For starters, the CCRD would be required to sort and categorize all packaging and staff the facility with an attendant who would be available to assist and educate clients and ensure compliance with the recycling program. Public participation is also an essential part.
“Public participation will be key to the financial success of this program,” said McIlwain. “As we prepare for the opening of our MMBC depot, you can expect to see ramped up public awareness initiatives targeted at changing our perceptions of what constitutes waste.”
The program will require some upfront costs by the CCRD, but there is also revenue available in the form of recyclables. More importantly, the MMBC contract would finally ensure compliance with the objectives of the CCRD’s Solid Waste Management Plan, which emphasizes optimize the life cycle of the Thorsen Creek Landfill by diverting recyclables from the waste stream.