MMBC creates plastic questions for North Cowichan

North Cowichan councillors are still not satisfied that the new Multi Materials BC recycling contract is going to be as helpful as first thought.

They’ve already planned a review of the deal next summer but at their Sept. 3 meeting, there was plenty of concern around the table that plastic bags will be a continuing problem.

It’s been possible to put film plastic in a recycle bag until now and councillors still say they think many people will simply put them in the garbage rather than drive their plastic recycling to the depot.

Coun. John Koury has asked before if there was any way to track what’s happening and was told Sept. 3 that even an agreement to produce a survey of residents will only deal with complaints, not general information.

"Are we refusing any pickups because of their being the wrong stuff in the cans?" Coun. Al Siebring asked. "I seem to be hearing something relevant to that in the community."

Koury said he has seen the answer.

"I do buy into the notion that change takes time and hopefully in a year from now people will be used to this system. However, on my last garbage day pickup there were many clear and transparent blue plastic bags left on the curbside with red stickers on them saying: we do not pick up this any more. Because it was in a plastic bag, presumably. There were many, many like that.

"Sometimes you do need a kick in the pants to say, okay, now I have to change."

Coun. Ruth Hartmann pointed out that the new MMBC regime allows for even more recyclables to go in the bag; film plastic is the only problem.

"It’s also rewarding to know that stickers are being put on; it helps people remember what they have to do," she said.

Coun. Kate Marsh is also still worried about what happens to all the other lightweight plastics.

She said she’s always made an effort to include every bit of plastic in her recycling, even the wrappers and small pieces that came around products.

"My volume of garbage has gone up and that makes me unhappy," she said.