Regional District of Nanaimo directors ok with MMBC

Motion to send a letter asking province to delay implementation of new recycling program is defeated

Contention and confusion is growing over the province’s push to adjust B.C.’s recycling system.

In a close vote at Tuesday night’s regular board meeting, RDN directors voted against a request put forward by The NEWS publisher Peter McCully asking for directors to support a delay in the implementation of the Multi Material British Columbia (MMBC) program slated to come down May 19.

“The system that MMBC is developing is very costly and will impact jobs and growth in the province,” said McCully, who estimates the program will cost the newspaper industry alone $10 million per year. “The fundamental issue is that this is not good for B.C. residents.”

According to MMBC managing director Alan Langdon, who spoke to directors at Tuesday’s meeting, the new system will shift the responsibility to pay for recycling printed paper and packaging (PPP) from local government to industry — however, director Bill Veenhof argued the financial onus will inevitably fall into the pockets of the consumer.

Veenhof said he was “intensely uncomfortable” with the MMBC program.

“While much is made of the producers of PPP having to pay for the cost of recycling, at the end of the day it seems that cost will be downloaded to the consumer,” said Veenhof, who represents Deep Bay, Qualicum Bay and Bowser. “We aren’t saving consumers money we’re costing them money.”

MMBC’s website explains the new environmental program will see companies who produce paper and packaging materials pay a fee to MMBC, a not-for-profit agency created to satisfy the requirements of provincial recycling regulations. Langdon said MMBC will create financial incentives for companies to reduce their use of printed paper and packaging.

“Now there is actually something at stake that wasn’t there before,” Langdon said. “But in terms of the consumer, I can’t say how those companies will manage their costs in a competitive marketplace.”

But Mike Klassen, director for Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses, said he knows exactly how companies will manage those costs — by downloading them to the consumer.

“Without a doubt this program will cost small businesses and their consumers more money,” Klassen told The NEWS in a phone interview Wednesday. “These costs will become a hidden tax for consumers.”

Klassen called MMBC’s new system “some of the worst red tape that could ever be conceived” adding the program is only where it is at today due to the confusion surrounding the issue.

Langdon said MMBC is a voluntary agency governed by a board of directors — he confirmed board members include multinational firms such as Walmart, Unilever and Proctor and Gamble.

Veenhof maintained skepticism saying he “doesn’t see accountability in MMBC.”

To date, MMBC said it has reached agreements with more than 170 local governments and other collectors covering approximately 1.25 million British Columbian households.

Just Posted

Genre-hopping harpist, singer to perform in Parksville

Musician on a quest to demystify harp playing GZAL on Jan. 24

Councillor has concerns about Qualicum Beach pot shop decision

Debate over location, public consultation and timing continues, though commitment already made

Oceanside RCMP arrest man wanted on several outstanding warrants

Hudson David Klassen, 26, picked up in Parksville

Qualicum Beach ‘Seniors Scene’ columnist remembered

Roy Jones described as caring father, energetic seniors’ centre member

Students seen mocking Native Americans could face expulsion

One 11-minute video of the confrontation shows the Haka dance and students loudly chanting

Parksville addictions treatment advocate to speak in Port Alberni

Recovering addict Kelly seeks to share more of her story with second event

12 poisoned eagles found in Cowichan Valley

Improper disposal of euthanized animal suspected

Olympic softball qualifier to be held in B.C.

Tournament is to be held Aug. 25 to Sept. 1

B.C. resident creates global sport training program

The 20 hour course teaches the science and application of interval training at the university level

B.C. VIEWS: Fact-checking the NDP’s speculation tax on empty homes

Negative-option billing is still legal for governments

May plans next move in Brexit fight as chances rise of delay

Some say a lack of action could trigger a ‘public tsunami’

Group challenges ruling for doctors to give referrals for services that clash with beliefs

A group of five Canadian doctors and three professional organizations is appealing

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Most Read