New West Chamber adds to dissent over new recycling program

The New Westminster Chamber of Commerce has added its voice to the growing dissent about changes to recycling programs in British Columbia that will see them administered by a private non-profit consortium of packaging producers.

Christine Conway, the Chamber's chair, says new fees imposed by Multi Material BC (MMBC) will hit many businesses hard.

"We're concerned that B.C. businesses are facing higher fees than in Ontario and Quebec," said Conway.

In Ontario, she said, industry pays only half the cost of recycling.

"There should be consistency in programs and fees across the provinces, allowing for an even playing field in terms of business," said Conway.

Already B.C.'s newspaper publishers and printers said they're being particularly hard hit by the new system. John Hinds, the president and CEO of Newspapers Canada, said 85 per cent of newsprint is already being recycled in blue boxes and the additional fees are unfair.

"We feel we're the gold star pupils of the blue box," said Hinds.

Municipalities across the province have also expressed their dismay about the new program and the impact it will have on their long-established curb side pickups.

Conway said while most of those communities, including New West, have already signed on for the new program, they've done so reluctantly.

"We may be too late to delay or halt this program," said Conway. "But we feel there's still time to make critical improvements.


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