STOP MMBC

stopMMBC

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.

http://www.theprovince.com/touch/business/Laura+Jones+recycling+rules+costly+consumers/9528821/story.html

 

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:

  1. 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)
  2. Even with the threat of a $200,000 fine, businesses are reluctant to sign on.
  3. MMBC is unwilling to provide information on what it will cost, yet insists in compliance in advance.

IN PRACTICE, MMBC’S EXPECTATIONS ARE UNREALISTIC

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

9 Replies to “STOP MMBC”

    • Small articles have been printed but it is so complicated that no one understands it. Virtually every line of the original version was completely unworkable. Week by week parts are dropping off as the people at MMBC learn the errors. It was supposed to be a 100% tracked system like the HST. The HST is easy, each level places a tax on the stated item price ( which exists already ) and the customer decides whether to pass it on or pay. The seller doesn’t have to know anything about the customer. Then MMBC was supposed to copy Encorp bottle return, except that all of the relevant numbers for the bottle return are on the invoice already ( size and count ). None of the numbers exist yet for packaging and the numbers change steadily as packaging changes. And the fee is material and weight specific. Explain to me the rate for the paper label on one can of beans! Think about this. The box the beans came in is exempt, but if I pack your groceries in that box instead of a grocery bag, I must charge you a fee. How much? Every box is different…And municipalities can sign off but there is no word on the fact that the householder will still pay the fee at the store and again at the curb. And municipalities that do sing on can’t charge extra for collection on the assumption that sooner or later the fee structure will be correct, you can ask the bottle depots how long that has taken and many still don’t make enough money…since when did every business have the same costs. At the same time, organizations such as the Canadian Plastics people are saying out loud that the best place for soft plastics is in fuel recovery. Note that MMBC already is expecting to pay a rate for ‘mixed’ material…that is code for ‘shipped to China in a big shitty bale because no one here wants it’. Green, I don’t think so.. and on and on

  1. MMBC is another version of what we all want to believe is recycle and it is likely but recycle is big business and if the recyclers have some one to flip the bill on running costs this increases the profitability of recycling. Hello BC layoff the weed.

  2. As a consumer, it is extremely difficult to not be skeptical about this initiative. The modern history of waste management reveals that it has been rife with profiteering since it began, more than 100 years ago. And this problem is universal (watch the series Trashopolis).

    What I see is another for-profit company who have cleverly engineered an agreement that places all of the risks on the municipalities and tax payers, with all of the benefits going to MMBC. It is yet another garbage scam with a ‘green twist’.

    And the provincial government does not care. Because, in this brave new world of ‘sustainability’ we, the consumers, are considered to be the problem and all solutions to that problem end up being punitive. Just looking at the escalation in tax rate for civic garbage collection over the past 5 years in Coquitlam certainly bears this out.

    And MMBC stands to profit from our ‘sins’.

    In this brave new world of uneven treatment, we get full-page ads in the newspapers sponsored by BC Hydro, promoting lighting products sold by a major home improvement retailer, yet that same retailer cancelled their participation the CFL recycling program more than a year ago (just one example).

    Letting MMBC profit from our recycling costs will not ‘save the planet’.

  3. Consumers constantly complain about the price of goods in Canada vs the States. I understand this change, engineered by the BC Liberal government, will likely increase the costs of goods further. Any increase in the cost of goods results in more revenue from sales tax (provincial and federal). So the Liberals have really created a financial win for themselves all in the name of supporting the environment. One problem with consumption taxes is that any government manipulation to drive the price of goods higher really results in more revenues (sales tax) for themselves. In this case an increase in the price of goods means more GST will be paid and the Feds are also happy. If we consider the sales tax implications perhaps we are going to be paying more than twice. See the RESIDENTS ACTUALLY END UP PAYING TWICE FOR THIS SERVICE above. We (southern interior) have seen very little on this change in the media and what the implications might be. As for the municipalities opposition to the plan, all the Liberals have to do is sweeten it a little and the opposition will disappear. With the revenue the Liberals gain in sales tax it may make it in their best interests.

    I would appreciate any comments (Terry) re increased revenues from increased costs of goods before crafting a letter to the editor(s) of some of our local newspapers. This has to be a major driver for the Liberals.