North Okanagan officials question MMBC

A shift in recycling is getting a rough ride from elected officials

A shift in recycling is getting a rough ride from elected officials.

Regional District of North Okanagan staff made a presentation Wednesday about Multi Material B.C., which has been mandated by the government to take over residential recycling services from local jurisdictions.

“Why is our staff using tax dollars to explain this? Where is the contractor?” said director Kevin Acton.

“We shouldn’t be discussing it because someone else will make the profit and be managing it.”

RDNO staff insist they want to ensure a smooth transition for residents, and it was pointed out that MMBC presented to Enderby and Armstrong councils.

MMBC is a stewardship group of retailers and producers that will take over collection and recycling of packaging under provincial regulations May 19.

“They will use the same routes and schedules,” said Nicole Kohnert, RDNO’s manager of regional engineering services.

The biggest change is single-family residents will no longer use clear bags for curbside collection. Instead, each home will be given two plastic bins.

“The top is open so weather protection is not possible,” said director Mike Macnabb, who is concerned wet material will be thrown in the landfill.

“Who is responsible for blown material because we get wind around here?”

Director Bob Fleming suggests the new system could lead to residents trashing recyclables because the bins have inadequate space.

“A bag is twice as large as the bins and sometimes I have seven of them because the packaging is bulky,” he said.

However, Kohnert says another container, such as a box, can be used for excess material.

Another major issue is apartment buildings are not covered by MMBC’s mandate and they must make arrangements with a hauler for collection.

“I am concerned they’re not being treated the same as a residence,” said director Shirley Fowler.

Many RDNO board members are questioning what motivated the government to change the recycling model.

“We’ve done a great job with recycling so this wasn’t necessary,” said director Jackie Pearase.