Victoria resident John Hungar fears a proposed recycling fee on newspapers could cause irreparable damage to the struggling industry.

Victoria resident John Hungar fears a proposed recycling fee on newspapers could cause irreparable damage to the struggling industry.

Newspapers ramp up recycle fee battle

B.C. recycling rules could financially cripple local newspapers, says newspaper association

Imminent changes to B.C. recycling rules could financially cripple local newspapers, says the president of the B.C. Yukon Community Newspaper Association.

Front-end recycling fees will soon be applied to businesses that produce packaging and printed paper, a move that will cost newspapers $6 million across the province, said Hugh Nicholson, B.C. Yukon Community Newspaper Association president.

“Newspapers are kind of the unique product in all this,” said Nicholson, a Nanaimo-based publisher with Glacier Media. “We’re not packaging, like Styrofoam or plastics … and we shouldn’t be lumped in with packaging companies.”

On May 19, industrial stewardship group Multi Material B.C. will assume responsibility for curb side blue box collection in Greater Victoria and 1.25 million B.C. households.

MMBC is requesting 20 cents per kilogram to recycle newsprint, while similar services in Ontario cost less than one cent per kilogram.

MMBC managing director Allen Langdon said the fees fully finance the program and ensure service for multi-family apartments and rural depots, in contrast to Ontario’s more limited focus on single-family homes.

He said B.C.’s successful container deposit system also means there’s less recyclable material left here for container stewards to collect and sell, so fees have to be higher to cover the system costs.

Newspaper owners can opt out of the program, but must then develop their own recycling measures. So far, newspapers have chosen the latter option while lobbying the province to re-examine the changes.

“We’re talking to some potential partners right now, but we’re optimistic the government will listen not only to ourselves, but to many businesses and municipalities. There’s a lot of fear about what will happen to recycling,” Nicholson said.

Recycling fees would cost Glacier “hundreds of thousands of dollars” annually on Vancouver Island alone, he added, and requests to sit down with provincial ministers have so far gone unmet.

Victoria resident John Hungar, a retired newspaper circulation manager, said he’s worried about any additional financial pressure on newspapers.

Hungar pointed to the January closure of the Kamloops Daily News as the beginning of a trend if the province doesn’t allow newspapers an exemption from recycling fees.

“People my age in particular like to read the paper,” Hungar said. “There are some on the verge of closing and I fear these fees could be a strikeout.”

Most newspapers in B.C. are owned by Glacier, Black Press (which owns the Victoria News) and Postmedia, although independent papers still exist and would likely be hit hardest by the changes, Nicholson said.

The Canadian Community Newspaper Association, the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses and several other organizations are now ramping up a campaign, rethinkitbc.ca, to convince the province to reconsider its recycling regulations.

“B.C. has one of the best recycling plans in the country,” Nicholson said.

“It appears to be working very well, now government has decided for whatever reason to turn this over to private industry with very little information about where our recycling will end up. But we think this is a solution looking for a problem.”

Just Posted

Police are looking for witnesses and video footage after a crash on June 18. (Photo courtesy of West Shore RCMP)
West Shore RCMP looking for videos related to Corvette crash

Driver believed to have fled the scene of View Royal crash

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for Greater Victoria with unusually high temperatures expected Monday and this coming weekend. (Black Press Media file photo)
Greater Victoria’s first week of summer will be a scorcher

Special weather statement issued Monday by Environment Canada

A rendering shows what the Doral Forest Park development would look like from the southwest. (Rendering via D’AMBROSIO Architecture & Urbanism)
Beaver Lake area project passes next hurdle in Saanich

Council approval for 242-unit parks edge development hinges on meeting of conditions

Victoria police are looking for the owner of a pink and white bike they recovered in North Park. (Courtesy of VicPD)
Victoria police searching for owner of child’s bike

Officers recovered the pink and white bike in North Park

A report on food security in Sooke reveals that nearly 15 per cent of people in Sooke have trouble getting food on the table. (The Canadian Press)
Food security a growing challenge in Sooke

‘This isn’t going to get any better if we don’t do anything about it’

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

The Crofton trailer park home where the bodies of two people were found. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Mom still waiting for answers after daughter and her fiance found dead in Crofton

Pair discovered dead in their Crofton home in May identified as Rachel Gardner and Paul Jenkins

By the end of life, the average North American has eaten the weight of a family sedan in sugar. (Pixabay.com)
FITNESS: Living the sweet life without too much sugar

Simple choices can have a major impact on your health

The Sacred Hearts church on PIB land burned Monday morning. (Theresa May Jack/Facebook)
Two churches on First Nation land in South Okanagan burn to the ground

Sacred Hearts church on Penticton Indian Band land was reduced to rubble

Tl’etinqox-lead ceremony at the site of the former St. Joseph’s Mission in Williams Lake, B.C., June 18, 2021. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
‘We are all one people’: Honouring residential school victims and survivors

Love, support and curiousity: Canadians urged to learn about residential schools and their impact

Indigenous rights and climate activists gathered outside Liberty Mutual’s office in Vancouver to pressure the insurance giant to stop covering Trans Mountain. (Photo by Andrew Larigakis)
Activists work to ensure Trans Mountain won’t get insurance

Global campaign urging insurance providers to stay away from Canadian pipeline project

In the first election with public money replacing corporate or union donations, B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau and B.C. NDP leader John Horgan take part in election debate at the University of B.C., Oct. 13, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. MLAs ponder 2022 ‘sunset’ of subsidy for political parties

NDP, B.C. Fed call for increase, B.C. Liberals have no comment

Investigators use a bucket to help recover human remains at a home burned in the Camp fire, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, in Magalia, Calif. Many of the missing in the deadly Northern California wildfire are elderly residents in Magalia, a forested town of about 11,000 north of the destroyed town of Paradise. (AP Photo/John Locher)
‘Forever War’ with fire has California battling forests instead

Five of the state’s largest-ever blazes seared California last year, as authorities tackle prevention

Most Read