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Multi-material BC meeting in Nelson gains more insight into delivery of new recycling program

The onus for waste is shifting and West Kootenay folk have a say in how that happens.

In one year the producers of packaging and printed paper in B.C. have to create a stewardship program for the collection and recycling of their end-of-use products.

On Oct. 14 the not-for-profit agency, Multi-Material BC, was in Nelson to begin gathering input on how to deliver recycling programs in communities across B.C. by 2012 — a plan that needs to be implemented by May 2014. 

The meeting was part of the province-wide community consultation footwork producers will need to do in formulating their own plan for recycling.

But for those who could not make the Nelson meeting — the only one scheduled for the southeast — to lend their voice to the plan, there is still a chance to be heard. Placespeak ( is an online tool that gives people a voice and assures proponents are getting information from all the right places.

At issue is the latest Recycling Regulation Amendment, which now includes packaging and printed paper (PPP) as a product category since May 19 of this year.

Packaging and printed paper were chosen after public discontent made it apparent something had to change. With 262 letters to Minister of Environment in the last five years, over 20,000 inquiries to provincial recycling hotline (2010) and increasing costs to local government, the Province changed the recycling rules.

Printed paper includes yellow pages, flyers, newspapers, etc., while packaging includes anything a product is wrapped or shipped in, as well as the marketing information provided with the product. 

Multi-Material BC includes the Retail Council of Canada (RCC), Food and Consumer Products of Canada (FCPC), Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers (CFIG), Canadian Restaurant and Food Services Association (CRFA) and the Canadian Newspaper Association (CNA).

The current focus of MMBC is determining the current state of the municipal recycling system in BC to inform the development of a range of options for consideration.


  • Formally incorporated MMBC with interim Board of Directors
  • Informal meetings and discussions with local governments, private sector companies, and other organizations currently involved in residential recycling
  • Issued RFP in July to assess capacity and cost of current system and identify potential options for developing program plan
  • Early in the process with no key decisions expected until next year

Action plan for extended producer responsibility

Phase 1 (by 2015)

  • packaging and printed materials
  • electronics and electrical
  • mercury-containing products (including lamps)
  • household hazardous and special wastes
  • automotive products

Phase 2 (by 2017)

  • construction and demolition materials
  • furniture, textiles and carpet
  • appliances (including ODS)