Allen Langdon

Allen Langdon

MMBC targets concerns

Some North Okanagan officials are more comfortable with B.C.’s new recycling model

Some North Okanagan officials are more comfortable with B.C.’s new recycling model.

Armstrong and Enderby councils heard Monday from Multi Material B.C., a stewardship group of retailers and producers that will take over collection and recycling of packaging under provincial regulations.

“I learned a lot I didn’t know before,” said Chris Pieper, Armstrong mayor.

“Waxed (coffee) cups will be recycled and that will be great.”

While some businesses, including the newspaper industry, have expressed concerns that the new system will be costly, Enderby Mayor Howie Cyr is confident the impact will be minimal locally.

“No business in our community will be subjected to the cost (of funding the program) because they don’t reach the threshold,” he said.

However, some details still need to be worked out before MMBC takes over collection May 19.

“We didn’t get a real good answer about cross-contamination of products,” said Brad Case, an Enderby councillor.

“If glass winds up in with paper, how is that dealt with?”

The service is primarily geared towards single-family collection and it’s still not known how multi-family units will be handled.

“I think we’ll have trouble with apartments. We don’t want 34 (collection) containers sitting in the yard,” said Sully O’Sullivan, an Armstrong councillor.

O’Sullivan admits, though, that the regional district will no longer levy taxes for recycling.

“People will be paying less.”

During his presentation, MMBC managing director Allen Langdon insisted that his group’s goal is to build on existing curbside collection.

“Our target is to achieve a 75 per cent recovery rate over time,” he said.

Some new items will be collected for recycling including coffee drink cups, empty aerosal containers, plant pots, aluminum foil containers and polycoat packaging.

The cost of operating the service will be apportioned to retailers and producers using certain products but some will be exempt if they have less than $1 million in revenue, have less than one tonne of packaging or is a single point of retail sale not part of a chain.

Blue box containers will soon be distributed to North Okanagan residents.

“The new program will no longer require residents to buy blue bags,” said Langdon.

“They will get a guide explaining the changes.”