Re: “Is recycling really better than trashing it” (Oct. 20)
It is important to clarify aspects of “Is recycling really better than trashing it” from Oct. 20. Multi-Material BC (MMBC) stewards — the retailers, manufacturers, and other organizations that sell or provide packaging and printed paper to B.C. Residents — finance the MMBC residential packaging and printed paper recycling program through fees they pay based on the amount and type of packaging and printed paper they distribute or supply to B.C. residents.
Through agreements with local governments, First Nations, and private collectors, MMBC uses stewards’ fees to finance curbside, multi-family, and depot collection programs throughout the province, including in the Cowichan Valley. MMBC does not collect fees from residents or from any level of government to operate the program. Juice containers and their deposit and recycling fee, provided as an example in the article, are part of a different stewardship program, and are not managed by MMBC.
MMBC’s 2014 annual report, available on the MMBC website, includes financial statements and reports on the metrics required by the B.C. Ministry of Environment. In the first seven-and-a-half months of program operations, MMBC recovered 80 per cent of the material reported by MMBC stewards. Of the material recovered, over 93 per cent was managed by recycling, with the remaining material sent for disposal because it did not meet recycling end-market specifications. Residents in the Cowichan Valley can be proud that they exceeded the provincial recovery rate per person (27.5 kg) for a recovery rate of 37.9 kg per person, one of the highest rates in the province.
Finally, the article raises the question of greenhouse gases. Beginning in 2018, MMBC will start to establish metrics and a tracking system for greenhouse gas emissions associated with its program. This timeline is outlined in the program plan approved by the Ministry of Environment and available on the MMBC website.