NDP agriculture critic Lana Popham is calling for an audit of Multi-Material BC.

NDP demands audit of Multi-Material BC

Opposition says MMBC undermines existing recyclers, depots, wants review by B.C.'s Auditor General

The NDP Opposition called Wednesday for an independent review of the reformed blue box recycling system now overseen by Multi-Material BC, arguing the stewardship agency is unaccountable and creating chaos among existing recyclers.

Deputy environment critic Gary Holman pointed to Syntal Products, a Saanich plastics recycling plant that shut down in September after MMBC partnered with other processors and left the company with insufficient feedstock.

Holman said non-profit recycling depots on the Gulf Islands are now facing closure and 25 layoffs because the funding they get from MMBC covers less than a third of the real operating costs.

MMBC launched in May to meet the provincial mandate that firms that distribute packaging waste and paper pay the costs of recycling it.

The industry stewardship group is now directly or indirectly in charge of curbside recycling in most of B.C. but continues to face strong local criticism.

Holman and NDP agriculture critic Lana Popham are calling for a review of MMBC by B.C.’s Auditor General.

“The B.C. government has botched its overhaul of the recycling sector,” said Popham, who has started an online petition.

She said agricultural operations and other businesses are being saddled with excessive fees to handle their packaging, while there’s insufficient accountability over the $100 million a year MMBC will take from businesses.

Environment Minister Mary Polak said the system is a significant shift because home owners now no longer pay the costs of recycling paper and packaging through their property taxes.

“It is a new program,” Polak told the Legislature. “It will take time to make sure that things are functioning adequately for everyone across the province. But make no mistake. We believe that the people who produce the packaging should pay to get rid of it.”

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

Just Posted

Pedestrian struck on Hillside Avenue

Traffic impacted between Douglas and Blanshard streets

‘Just being stupid’: Premier slams abusive customers at Langford restaurant

Restaurant said rude customers reduced its hosts to tears

Sooke Arts Council opens first gallery

Classes available at new location

Saanich orders new liquor licence for Cedar Hill Recreation Centre

Consolidated licence cuts maximum patrons from 570 to 174

B.C. would not send students back to school if there was ‘overwhelming risk’: Horgan

Plan has left many parents across the province worried about their children’s safety

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Aug. 4

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should it be mandatory to wear masks when out in public?

B.C. is witnessing an alarming rise in the number of cases of… Continue reading

Tent Island closed due to neglect and abuse from campers

Illegal campfires common on Penelakut Tribe reserve land

North Okanagan man chains himself to tree in protest of construction

Crews began work clearing space for a new facility Thursday, Aug. 6

VIDEO: A B.C business used robots to bring down concrete walls

Walco Industries is the only firm on Vancouver Island to use specialized robots for hydro-demolition

As CERB winds down, labour group asks Liberals to rethink EI

The government estimates four million people will be moved onto EI after CERB ends

Walmart to make face masks mandatory for customers across Canada

Requirement goes into effect on Wednesday, Aug. 12 across Canada

Masks to be mandatory on BC Transit, TransLink starting Aug. 24

Both BC Transit and TransLink made the announcement in separate press releases on Thursday

Most Read