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.”

Just Posted

Langford firefighters help rescue tranquilized bear from a tree near city hall

Residents have been reporting on social media that a bear was recently seen in the area

Belgian man searches for family of fallen First World War soldier from Victoria

Mark Edward Berton attended Victoria High School and has his grave in Flanders Field

Saanich preschool celebrates 30 years with reunion event

Thousands invited RSVP for Carrot Seed Preschool 30-year celebration

Sidney Museum’s Chief Dan George exhibition sees surge of interest

Four mayors, federal Green leader, Tsartlip reps to attend June 21 opening ceremony

Oak Bay artist co-op highlights autobiographical Snapshots showcase

Snapshots runs from June 4 to 22 at Gage Gallery, 2031 Oak Bay Ave.

REPLAY: The best videos from across B.C. this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week in the province

Wildfire crews watching for dangerous wind shift in High Level, Alta.

The Chuckegg Creek fire is raging out of control about three kilometres southwest of the town

UN urges Canada to take more vulnerable Mexican migrants from Central America

The request comes as the United States takes a harder line on its Mexican border

Mistrial declared in Jamie Bacon murder plot trial

Bacon was on trial for counselling to commit the murder of Person X

B.C. VIEWS: Money-laundering melodrama made for TV

Public inquiry staged to point fingers before 2021 election

Canadian homebuyers escaping high housing costs by moving to secondary cities

In British Columbia, exurbs have grown in the Hope Valley and Kamloops

Feds lay out proposed new rules for voice, video recorders in locomotives

Transport Canada wants to limit use of recorders to if a crew’s actions led to a crash

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen found in torched SUV

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

Most Read