The company charged with running a new provincial recycling program has hired a local contractor to operate its processing facility here.
Do Your Part will stop its own residential pickup service in mid-May and transform its operation to process material through Multi-Material BC (MMBC), a company established to broaden consumer recycling throughout B.C. thanks to provincial legislation.
The residential material will be delivered by the City of Terrace through a separate contract it has with MMBC.
“All of the material will come through my doors, and we will do a quick pull out of contaminants and anything that has to be processed separately and then bail it,” said Do Your Part owner Kasey Lewis who has been operating here since 2006.
Lewis said she will be revamping her Thornhill station, purchasing new bailers and building a large covered area to store paper, plastic, glass and other materials.
The bailed recycling material will be shipped to Prince George periodically in trucks already being used by major retailers here to ship recyclables.
Lewis said processing all of Terrace’s residential recycling will require more hours from her current staff and possibly the hiring of more workers.
Do Your Part’s new recycling role officially begins May 19 when City of Terrace workers will start picking up residential recycling material once every two weeks through its own contract with MMBC. Regular garbage will be picked up on the off weeks.
Mayor Dave Pernarowksi said it’s a big step.
“It’s good in a couple ways because it keeps waste out of our landfills and will in the long run save the community money. The recycling program is being funded through MMBC. We can get it running with very little upfront cost to the city,” he said.
The program will not be without immediate cost to residents. While the city will give out 20 plastic bags to every household, residents will have to buy their own when they run out.
The shift by the province to the wide-ranging MMBC program is under heavy criticism elsewhere in the province where recycling is more established.
The overall costs are to be born by producers of packaging products but critics say consumers will ultimately pay more for products.
“The public is largely unaware of the money that will come out of their pocket and ultimately go back to manufacturers,” said Corinne Atwood, executive director of the BC Bottle and Recycling Depot Association. Unlike existing deposit-refund systems in B.C. on cans or electronics, which are subject to audits and transparent reporting, Atwood said MMBC can do what it wishes with the revenue it will collect from producers.
“It’s a licence to print money,” she said.
The MMBC program is being opposed by a number of business groups, including the B.C. and Yukon Community Newspapers Association, of which The Terrace Standard is a member.