City of Terrace confident it can reach recycling goals

But other municipalities are worried about costs and fines associated with new plan

CITY STAFFERS are confident citizens will respond to a new-look curbside recycling program coming in next May and so avoid stiff penalties for failing to meet specific standards.

The city has already agreed to a contract with a new province-wide recycling agency and is due to make it official Sept. 16, the deadline day to sign a contract.

Terrace’s curbside program through the Multi-Material BC agency will cover most cardboard, paper, plastics and glass, but not other waste products such as plastic drink bottles.

It means taxpayers will have to pay attention to what they put out for recycling because the city faces fines for mixing up recyclables with other material.

City sustainability coordinator Tara Irwin said public education will be vital to avoid penalties of up to $5,000 per load considered contaminated with non-recyclables.

Beginning next May, city workers will pick up recyclables every two weeks and regular garbage in the off weeks.

At the beginning of the program, clear plastic bags will be provided by the city so city employees can see what’s inside.

“We chose to start this year with clear plastic bags because it will allow the drivers to inspect bags and make sure that people are only putting in their bags what is allowed, because we can only have up to 3 per cent contamination,” said Irwin.

“We don’t have the money set aside to pay for any of those penalties,” Irwin continued, adding that the truck drivers will leave behind loads containing the wrong material.

The city-collected recyclables will be taken to a depot managed by the new recycling agency.

Multi-Material BC is made up of producers of various products and retailers who sell those products and it has been given the job of collecting packaging, containers and other material that eventually ends up in the hands of consumers.

The agency is prepared to subsidize municipal curbside collection but also says it needs to ensure there’s a steady stream of material to be recycled.

On average, says the agency, each household needs to produce more than 135 kilograms per year of recycled material to make the program financially feasible.

If the per-household weight falls below that weight, then eventually it “may result in an equitable downward change in the fees.”

Allen Langdon from Multi-Material BC said there are three main categories for penalties including contamination, labour disruption, and late reporting of services.

“It’s important to producers because they are the ones who are funding this program,” Langdon added.

“What they say is that ‘we understand we are responsible for our material, but we don’t want to have to pay for a bunch of stuff that isn’t printed paper or packaging.’”

Langdon also wants to assure member service providers—the municipalities and private companies who will have to work together to see recycled material through the processing chain—that penalties won’t be given out will-nilly.

“There’s a pretty extensive process in A determining if there is a problem, B verifying if in fact it is a problem, and C working with the collector in question, if it’s a local government, in developing a remediation plan to address the issues. If the plan works then I don’t think we have an issue,” he said.

Terrace will receive approximately $134,000 a year to pick up recyclable material.

While Terrace is ready to sign a contract, other municipalities are not, citing the prospect of high penalties and unknown costs.

Those municipalities want the Sept. 16 deadline put off so they can sign better deals with Multi-Material BC.





Just Posted

Global climate strike makes its stand in Terrace

Approximately 50 people rallied in front of city hall to bring awareness to climate change

Bear shot by police in Stewart neighbourhood, residents say

Gunshots were heard in the dark, alarming and angering neighbours

Skeena Voices | Walking between two parallel roads

Lynn Parker found knowledge a powerful tool for reconciliation

Terrace Community Forests harvests $750k for City of Terrace

Money was given in recognition of National Forest Week

Coast Mountain College opens new health and wellness centre in Terrace

College’s eventual goal is to open up the gym and programming for public use

VIDEO: Grizzly bears fight along northern B.C. highway in rare footage

Cari McGillivray posted the head-turning video, shot near Stewart, B.C., to social media

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

RCMP say the man was hiking alone on Mount Temple Thursday

Takaya, B.C.’s intriguing lone wolf, seen eating seal and howling away on Discovery Island

Fun facts about Takaya the wolf, like his a 36-hour tour around Chatham, Discovery Islands

Resident finds loaded shotgun inside a duffle bag in Kelowna alleyway

RCMP seized a loaded 12-gauge shotgun, ammunition, clothing and other items

Graffiti, calls and Snapchat: RCMP probe string of threats targeting Kamloops schools

There have been nine different threats made to four different schools in the city

Most Read