Delegates at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in Vancouver.

UBCM demands more time in recycling dispute

Cities seek improved terms to partner with Multi Material BC as blue box collectors

B.C. civic leaders are demanding an extra 90 days to negotiate acceptable terms for the coming shift of blue box recycling control to industry-run agency Multi Material BC.

Delegates at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention unanimously backed the resolution Thursday and agreed to strike a working group to help coordinate negotiations on behalf of affected cities.

Many cities fear degraded recycling services depending on how the new system rolls out and argue MMBC won’t pay them enough to cover their costs if they agree to keep running curbside collection as contractors.

“We see a significant hit to taxpayers to cover the cost of implementing this program,” said Prince George Coun. Cameron Stolz, disputing MMBC claims the $110-million system will be fully financed by the producers of packaging and paper.

“The terms and conditions of the contract are just simply unacceptable,” New Westminster Coun. Bill Harper said.

If cities decline to be paid collectors, MMBC will contract the service out to firms and may let them halt curbside pickup of glass and direct residents to take jars and bottles to a depot instead.

“That glass is going to go straight in the garbage,” Harper predicted. “So we’re actually walking backwards in terms of the diversion rate in New Westminster.”

Thursday’s vote came as MMBC claimed 85 per cent of B.C. cities with curbside pickup have accepted its offer to run the service for payment. It said five per cent declined by a Sept. 16 deadline, letting MMBC contract out, while 10 per cent will opt out and keep providing recycling pick up without any MMBC payment.

Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie, chair of Metro Vancouver’s zero waste committee, said the positive responses MMBC claims may include many cities that have conditionally signalled their intent, but want to negotiate better terms.

“In Metro Vancouver there is widespread rejection of the MMBC situation,” he said. “But I  believe there’s also a collective will to make it work.”

Brodie said he’s been assured provincial government officials are concerned and argued the planned launch date of next spring should be delayed.

“I think that the dates are really arbitrary. If it’s a good idea and we want to do it, May of 2014 is not magical. It could be May 2015 or any other date.”

The UBCM resolution was crafted from separate motions lodged by Smithers, Port Moody, North Vancouver and New Westminster.

Port Moody did sign on to the financial offer but is seeking improvements to the terms, Mayor Mike Clay said.

NDP local government critic Selina Robinson urged the province to “slow down and get it right.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Return-It depots change beverage container deposits from 20 to 10 cents

Change will be implemented on Oct. 1, with a transition period being held until Oct. 11

Langley group rebrands but remains focused on helping local seniors

Langley Seniors Community Action Table is now Langley Seniors in Action

LETTER: Langley woman shocked by abuse of ‘My Mr. Rogers’ – Dr. Bonnie

Public workers and front line staff are working to protect and help everyone

New Langley digs facilitate 500 virus tests a day

Fraser Health expands COVID-19 testing and collection in Langley with move to Kwantlen university

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Liberal effort to reset policy agenda panned by rivals as too much talk, not action

Trudeau said it’s ‘all too likely’ families won’t be able to gather for Thanksgiving next month

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

‘Show us the money’ for cannabis, local governments tell B.C.

Municipal tax, transit revenues falling as costs rise

Young man assaulted, left for 12 hours until help called in Vancouver’s Strathcona Park

Vancouver police are looking to identify the victim as they investigate an assault on Monday evening

Boulders near Harrison vandalized with derogatory word

Vandalism likely occured between Sunday evening and Tuesday evening

Most Read