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

Two causes to be heard on legislature lawn during B.C. budget unveiling

Demonstrations from forestry workers and Extinction Rebellion planned

Peninsula and Area Agricultural Commission criticizes Central Saanich over committee demise

PAAC also calls on municipality to revive ag committee disbanded earlier

Migration drives Greater Victoria’s population growth

Region surpasses 400,000 population despite seeing more deaths than births

Recent arrests skim surface of Victoria’s human trafficking problem

Port city makes desirable place for traffickers flying under the radar

Oak Bay looks into boulevard gardens

Legalizing boulevard gardening among working group ideas

VIDEO: Ottawa wants quick, peaceful resolution to pipeline protests, Trudeau says

The protests have manifested themselves as blockades on different rail lines across the country

Forestry convoy headed down Vancouver Island to legislature lawn

Rally to be held Tuesday in Victoria pushing for the protection of ‘working forests’

Woman charged after alleged fuel thefts, ramming of RCMP car in B.C. Interior

Suspect wanted for crimes allegedly committed in Kelowna, Salmon Arm and 100 Mile House

Two causes to be heard on legislature lawn during B.C. budget unveiling

Demonstrations from forestry workers and Extinction Rebellion planned

No dramatic shifts expected as B.C. government tables new budget today

Finance Minister Carole James has promised to stay the course when she tables the budget in the legislature

AFN national chief calls for calm on Wet’suwet’en crisis, rail blockades

Hereditary chiefs in the Wet’suwet’en First Nation oppose the natural-gas pipeline

Federal, B.C. ministers seek meeting with Wet’suwet’en in hope of blockade solution

Coastal GasLink signed agreements with all 20 elected band councils along the pipeline route

Flight to evacuate Canadians from cruise ship ‘expected’ to depart Japan on Thursday

Canadians seeking to return to home by commercial means will be subject to the Quarantine Act

Most Read