B.C. plan to expand recycling includes mattresses, single-use fuel canisters and even fire extinguishers | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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B.C. plan to expand recycling includes mattresses, single-use fuel canisters and even fire extinguishers

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Producers and consumers will be required to recycle more products in the province, as part of a new five-year recycling plan being unrolled as part of the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.

The changes will mostly be directed at producers, who are already required to take responsibility for the lifecycle of their products, including collection and recycling, under the Extended Producer Responsibility Strategy, though the changes will be phased in to give them time to adjust, according to a media release by the Ministry.

Items like electric-vehicle batteries, mattresses, single-use fuel canisters and fire extinguishers are among many products that are being added to the current list under British Columbia’s Recycling Regulation, along with more electric products, the ministry said.nt to the landfill or illegally dumped in back alleys or green spaces. This will protect our environment and boost our economy through an increase in recycling operations and re-manufacturing."

READ MORE: Wine corks into footwear: New recycling pilot program in Kelowna

"Expanding the number of recyclable products will mean convenient, free collection of those products and a cleaner environment for British Columbians," Environment Minister George Heyman said int the release. "Adding to the product list will reduce the waste that's now being se

While the province has been regulating the recycling of residential items since 2004, the new action plan will build on B.C.’s leadership in preventing waste, reclaiming more materials and growing the circular economy, the ministry said.

It is exploring ways to regulate products beyond residential sources, such as from businesses, stadiums, shopping malls and universities, which would make B.C. the first jurisdiction in North America to do so.

READ MORE: There's more than one way to a zero-waste lifestyle

Part of the plan is to expand the beverage container deposit-refund system to include milk and milk-alternative containers, with the goal of recycling up to 40 million more containers each year, and to expand the number of single-use products that can be recycled, the ministry said.

It is piloting new projects to use reclaimed plastic waste in new manufacturing and empowering municipalities to enact their own bans of some single-use plastics without provincial approval.

The current provincial strategy recovers $46 million worth of materials every year, reduces greenhouse gas emission by over 200,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, generates an estimated $500 million annually through recycling programs, and collects approximately 315,000 tonnes of plastic from bottles, packaging and electronics, said the release.

The EPR Five-Year Action Plan can be found here.

Recycling Regulation amendments and initiatives can be found here.

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