Laura Jones: B.C.’s new recycling rules a costly tax on consumers
BY LAURA JONES, FOR THE PROVINCE FEBRUARY 20, 2014
Environment Minister Mary Polak recently announced that many small businesses will be exempt from onerous new recycling rules set to come into effect this May
Click on the link to read the full article by Laura Jones.
Continue reading the following post by KMS.
.For those of you who have not been following this, MMBC is a “not-for profit” organization with stated goals of increasing recycling rates for product packaging and printed material in the municipal residential stream, reducing recycling costs to municipalities, and having the businesses who generate the packaging and printed materials absorb the costs of doing so.
On the surface, that sounds like it should be a good thing. But once you begin to look into how this is going to be managed, there appears to be little, if any, benefit to municipalities, businesses, or consumers; it may actually lower recycling rates while increasing costs to BOTH municipalities AND businesses.
Here at KMS Tools, we are 100% in support of reducing waste and increasing the recycling of goods. We have implemented several practices that reflect this, but are opposed to participating in and paying for a program that in the end may claim to reduce waste and increase recycling in name, but in practice does not carry out those claims and will put a huge burden on our business.
Here are just SOME of the concerns that we are finding with this program:
MUNICIPALITIES DO NOT SEE THE BENEFITS OF THIS BUT ARE ACTUALLY CONCERNED ABOUT INCREASED COSTS, NOT REDUCED COSTS
The program has been rejected or seriously questioned by many municipalities in BC, including several large cities in the lower mainland. In this article here, Mayors from Burnaby, Prince George, Coquitlam, Richmond, and Port Coquitlam, speak out their concerns with the plan. Vancouver has also delayed signing (article here) and is concerned that this plan is not in the best interests of the city. Greg Moore, mayor of Port Coquitlam, believes that the program will actually significantly INCREASE the costs of recycling (article here)
RESIDENTS ACTUALLY END UP PAYING TWICE FOR THIS SERVICE
As the program significantly increases costs to businesses, prices will have to rise to cover these costs, AND taxes will be increased to cover the extra costs to municipalities. We are being asked to pay twice for a less efficient system.
MMBC CLAIMS TO REPRESENT BC BUSINESSES, BUT:
- Less than 1/3 of 1% of BC Businesses have agreed to sign on to their program (less than 1500 of over 400,000 businesses in BC)
- Even with the threat of a $200,000 fine, businesses are reluctant to sign on.
- MMBC is unwilling to provide information on what it will cost, yet insists in compliance in advance.
IN PRACTICE, MMBC’S EXPECTATIONS ARE UNREALISTIC
- Businesses must keep records of how much of their goods packaging and printed materials are going into residential blue boxes and how much goes into industrial waste and recycling; this alone is an impossible demand.
- Business must accurately report a complete breakdown of how much of what materials is being used in product packaging. Their expectation is that for every item sold by a business, the weight of any cardboard, plastic, and paper (instruction manuals etc) will be weighed and recorded.
- All printed materials sent out (flyers etc) must be recorded as to whether they went to a residential or commercial address and reported accordingly.
MMBC HAS NOT THOROUGHLY THOUGHT THIS THROUGH AND CANNOT ANSWER DETAILED QUESTIONS ABOUT IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PROGRAM
We have had many conversations with representatives of MMBC and they are unable to answer detailed questions of how to practically implement this as a business, how much it will cost, how to keep track of their detailed demands, etc.
We will add more information to this shortly, but this helps explain some of our initial concerns with this program.