Recycling boss responds to merchant’s comments

Multi-Material B.C. leaves plenty of opportunities for recyclers, director says

Re: Regional recycling plant shut out by B.C. program (Gazette, Sept. 12)

While news of any business closure is always concerning, there are some important clarifications to make with regards to the Multi-Material BC (MMBC) recycling program’s perceived role in the closure of Syntal Products.

The owner of Syntal Products claims that the MMBC program resulted in a loss of 60 per cent of the plastics that would otherwise go to Syntal Products. While we cannot corroborate that figure, MMBC’s program only manages residential recycling of printed paper and packaging the recyclables collected from residents’ curbside or multi-family building recycling containers, and from depots, which leaves a considerable amount of plastics that can still be recovered and marketed from the commercial, industrial and institutional sectors.

MMBC estimates that at a minimum, 50 per cent of plastics in B.C. come from the commercial sector.

Further, while MMBC works with 161 local government and other collectors to provide collection services to 1.25 million households, approximately 70 collectors have not joined the MMBC program and do not have their plastics (and other recyclables) processed by MMBC’s service provider, Green by Nature EPR. This represents a significant amount of collectors that still market the plastics they collect to businesses like Syntal Products to purchase.  Furthermore, there are no restrictions in our agreement with Green by Nature that would have prevented them from selling material to Syntal Products, subject to the two parties reaching an agreement on price.

MMBC is committed to operating an effective and efficient recycling system for B.C. residents, and we believe our program not only benefits residents by removing the financial burden of managing this system from their taxes and making businesses responsible, but it also results in new investments, jobs and infrastructure for the province.

Allen Langdon

managing director, Multi-Material BC