In May 2014, the responsibility for collecting and processing household recycling will be changing in B.C. The new product stewardship program for “Packaging and Printed Paper” (PPP) that is being introduced will shift the responsibility of recycling collection for all PPP from governments and their taxpayers to industry and their consumers.
Product Stewardship Programs or the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) concept has been embraced by many countries around the world as it makes producers of designated products accountable for their eventual disposal (in B.C. this includes paint, beverage containers, tires and other products).
Product Stewardship Programs are an important issue for the RDCK Board of Directors. This new program will significantly influence a service that has long been provided by the RDCK to residents. This program is different from other EPR programs that have targeted specific items in the waste stream that were not previously being recycled in an established program.
“We currently provide convenient household recycling programs, both curb side and depots for our residents,” stated John Kettle, Board Chair, “the RDCK is concerned about this new program and how it will address service in rural areas.”
Although it may be unfair to paint all EPR programs with the same brush, we are skeptical that this program will adequately service our regional district.” Approximately 60 per cent of the RDCK population (36,000 residents) live in rural areas.
Over the past 20 years household recycling programs have become part of the fabric of waste management and societal behaviour. The PPP program scheduled to roll out in May 2014 brings about a huge change for how residential recycling materials are handled.
The RDCK is currently investigating how this program will affect existing RDCK recycling programs and the RDCK Board of Directors continues to advocate for the best interest of local taxpayers in the provincial recycling system. For more information about B.C.’s EPR system and the new PPP program, contact the Recycling Council of British Columbia: www.rcbc.bc.ca or 1-800-667-4321.