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North Okanagan locked into recycling system, says MMBC director

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October 01, 2015 - 6:30 PM

VERNON - Those demanding changes to the North Okanagan’s recycling system appear to be out of luck.

Allen Langdon, the managing director for Multi-Material B.C., says the new program is working well in the North Okanagan Regional District and, overall, generating few complaints.

“We had some around the launch but in the last few months there’s been very little in the way of complaints,” Langdon says.

Plus, people in the North Okanagan are even sticking to the rules more closely than elsewhere in the province, he says. Due to a low contamination rate — mixing of recycling materials — the area was able to recycle 28.5 kg of material per person over the last seven-and-a-half months, slightly higher than the provincial average of 27.5 kg.

“We’re very happy with what we’re seeing out of the North Okanagan,” Langdon says.

He says they’ve given people various options to make the transition from bags easier — such as the ability to purchase a smaller, lighter bin, or additional boxes as required — but says a total overhaul of the system is unlikely.

“We have a five year contract with the collector. From our perspective, there’s very little room to move in that,” Langdon says. “The regional district had a choice, they chose to turn service over to us, and we selected (a contractor) who has made investments based on the (agreement.)”

City of Vernon councillor Scott Anderson recently spoke out against the program, saying he hasn’t heard from anyone who likes it. Anderson is seeking support from the rest of Vernon council to lobby for changes.

Some would like to see a cart system such as the one used in the Central Okanagan Regional District, but Langdon says it’s doubtful MMBC would switch to that method either.

“From what we’ve seen, contamination rates in carts are often double what we see in the blue boxes,” Langdon says. “We’d be really reticent to move to something that is seeing higher contamination rates.”

Multi-Material B.C. was formed after the provincial government enacted a new regulation calling on businesses, not taxpayers, to pay for the recycling of packaging and printed paper. The organization has roughly one thousand members that pay fees based on the amount and type of paper and packaging they supply to B.C. residents. That money is used to fund local recycling programs.

“In doing so, it’s important to remember that taxpayers no longer have to pay for that service,” Langdon says.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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