- Our Town
Bowen Island joins other B.C. communities rejecting recycling program's deadline
Bowen Island Municipality (BIM) is taking a cue from virtually every other community in British Columbia by rejecting a deadline to join a recycling program.
Multi-Material BC (MMBC), a stewardship group made up of packaging producers and retailers, required municipalities across the province to sign up for its recycling program by Sept. 16 to receive financial incentives.
But local politicians attending the annual Union of B.C. Municipalities convention passed a resolution on Sept. 19 calling for an extension to the deadline.
"The amount of staff time it would take to get into the entire details of all bits and pieces of MMBC would be huge," Keith Walhstrom, BIM's manager of development and operations, told council on Sept. 23.
"So we chose to not respond…knowing full well the majority of the province has significant concerns."
The creation of MMBC follows the provincial government's efforts to shift the burden of recycling printed paper and packaging (PPP) from local governments to the industries and retailers that produce PPP waste. This encompasses everything from the collection of PPP to the reduction of materials produced in the manufacturing of packaging.
Don Marshall, chairman of BIM's solid waste resource and management advisory committee (SWRMAC), told council he could not support MMBC as it presently stands.
"(I) feel suspicious that there are things going on behind doors — and this is reiterated by other people, operators — that don't look good," he said.
"So for that reason, I'd very be very happy to see MMBC get substantially revised."
BIM staff and SWRMAC will continue monitoring developments with MMBC to identify any benefits of joining, according to a report Walhstrom presented to council. Any benefits would then be put before council.
Meanwhile, council has proclaimed Oct. 21-27 to be waste reduction week on Bowen Island.