MMBC taking over curbside recycling services

 

Recycling was in the spotlight, especially how to pay for it, at the Tuesday night meeting of the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce.

Allen Langdon, managing director of Multi-Material B.C. (MMBC), the new group overseeing much of the province’s curbside recycling program, spoke to chamber members.

The province has mandated that producers of paper and packaging have to take financial responsibility for the recycling of their products, as “extended producer responsibility,” he said.

MMBC was created by a group of companies to manage recycling from curbside and sorting centres, and to collect fees from the producing companies, which includes any larger firm that produces packaging, flyers, newspapers, bottles, or other goods.

Langdon said B.C. is playing catch-up with jurisdictions overseas: “We’re far behind where they are in Europe.”

The change will transfer much recycling from municipal jurisdiction to that of MMBC.

Langley City is currently being paid an incentive to fund local recycling collection, and MMBC affiliated firms will take over direct collection Jan. 1, said Langdon. The Township has an existing contract and isn’t working with MMBC yet.

“They’ve indicated interest in 2016,” said Langdon.

He added that recycling is expanding, with items such as spiral-wound cardboard cans added, and polystyrene food trays potentially coming soon.

Langley Advance publisher Ryan McAdams questioned the rationale behind the 20 cents per kilogram newspapers are paying for recycling newsprint.

Ontario has a similar system, but papers there pay less than half that rate, McAdams said.

Langdon said there are a number of differences. He said 50 per cent of the Ontario system is provincially funded, and that multi-family units in Ontario don’t take part in the system.

Angie Quaale, a past chamber president, also asked questions about the cost to community newspapers which she feared will be passed on to advertisers.

“This is really a burden for them,” Quaale said.

“I don’t have a dispute with the community newspapers,” said Langdon.

He said other members of the MMBC group agreed that papers have to pay their fair share.

“They could have come forward with their own plan,” Langdon said. “Nothing stopped them.”

Quaale also asked about the exemption from MMBC costs for small retailers like herself. But she worried about costs coming down the supply chain from other packaging producers.

Langdon said supply chain costs should not come down to the end sellers.

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