A North Okanagan businessman isn’t giving up his fight although a new recycling system is moving ahead.
On Tuesday, Multi-Material B.C. selected Emterra Environmental to manage the North Okanagan’s curbside recycling collection services starting May 19.
“The provincial legislation hasn’t taken effect yet so to let a tender doesn’t mean they will even start,” said Will Hansma, Okanagan Advertiser owner and former Spallumcheen mayor.
MMBC, a stewardship group made up of major retailers and producers, will take over collection and recycling of packaging under provincial regulations.
Hansma is part of a coalition of business stakeholder groups opposed to the regulatory change to the recycling of printed paper and packaging.
“Our coalition hopes they (government) will reconsider the program because it’s so flawed,” said Hansma.
“This will double our recycling costs.”
Hansma is calling for consultation with industry and he says the new system will not provide any benefits to the North Okanagan.
“It’s not fair for the local contractors to lose those jobs,” he said, adding that non-profit Venture Training has also been involved in recycling.
“We’ve run a really good program in the North Okanagan and it cost us very little.”
MMBC officials defend the selection of Emterra, which has corporate headquarters in Ontario.
“Emterra provided the best bid and it has a lot of experience,” said Allen Langdon, MMBC managing director.
“It will employ local people to provide the service.”
According to MMBC, communities will be able to recycle new categories of packaging starting in May, including milk cartons, foam packaging, plant pots, aluminum foil packaging, certain types of plastic film packaging and drink cups.
Emterra will serve all communities in the Regional District of North Okanagan, except for Spallumcheen which has operated its own recycling program in past. Spallumcheen officials are waiting to hear who MMBC will name as the contractor for the township.