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Council has less than one month to make recycling decision
Town of Osoyoos council has less than one month to decide whether it’s going to be part of a new recycling initiative proposed by the provincial government or to maintain the status quo.
Cameron Baughen, solid waste management co-ordinator for the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS), made a presentation to Town of Osoyoos council on Monday informing councilors how they must decide by Sept. 16 whether or not they want to be part of a new recycling system designed to collect packaging and printed paper (PPP) or maintain its current system.
“We have to make a decision by Sept. 16 … the province wants the new program in effect by March of 2014,” said Baughen.
Barry Romanko, the town’s chief administrative officer, confirmed council must decide by Sept. 16 about its final decision and he will have a detailed report with options for the next meeting of council on Sept. 2.
The current recycling system in Osoyoos involves residents leaving recyclable materials at the roadside and they are picked up as part of their property taxes.
Local government then pays fees to collectors and processors and revenue generated from the recyclable materials is then shared between the processor and local governments.
The proposed changes to the system would see residents charged a small fee in the price of products that can be recycled and materials would then be brought to a producer, who would pay the new Multi-Material BC (MMBC) to collect and process the materials.
Collectors and processors of recycled material would then share the revenue generated from end-of-market products produced from these materials.
The MMBC is a not-for-profit agency established by the province that was formed in anticipation of the government adding packaging and printed paper as a new product category under its recycling regulations, said Baughen.
“MMBC respresents producers of PPP in B.C.,” he said.
MMBC will offer a market-clearing price financial incentive to local government that is currently directly providing or contracting for collection services, he said.
In Osoyoos, the current collection company, BFI Canada, would be allowed to provide an RFP detailing plans to expand their collection services to meet the new terms and conditions required by MMBC, he said.
If town council decided to reject the offer and maintain the status quo, MMBC will issue a tender for collection services, select a service provider to provide PPP collection services and provide public education, promotion and management of collection service customers through its own means, he said.
Where local governments accept the offer, additional incentive will be offered to provide public education, promotion and first point of contact for collection service customers, he said.
MMBC is in the process of identifying qualified processors for these new materials being brought into the system, he said.
If the town votes to go with this new system, MMBC will pay the town $32 to $36 per home for recycling fees, plus an additional 75 cents per home for education, $2.50 per home for administration and a potential top up of 25 cents per home, he said.
Benefits of this new program include funding for service and new programs for paper cups and Styrofoam, continuation of current programs and providing a standard program across the province, he said.
Romanko said his biggest concern is the town has a contract with BFI Canada that runs until June of 2016.
“We’ll have to work with BFI because of our contractual obligations,” he said. “With that being in mind, we have to make a decision by Sept. 16.”
The process will allow BFI Canada to send an RFP to become the official processor for the town if council decides to accept the MMBC proposal, said Baughen.
Council will discuss this issue during its next meeting on Sept. 2 and is expected to make a final decision at its meeting on Sept. 16.