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.”

Just Posted

Food service workers at Victoria airport demonstrate for second time in four months

Negotiations continue to drag on with employer Compass Group Canada, VAA refuses to engage

Active investigation into reported sexual assault at CFB Esquimalt

An Oct. 5 allegation is being investigated by Canadian Forces National Investigation Service

Banquo Folk Ensemble serenades Sidney

20 years into performing, the ancient music ensemble visits the Peninsula

Saanich mayor won’t tip hand on electoral referendum

Councillor receives support from fellow councillors in favour of PR

Saanich councillor leads CRD as board chair

Colin Plant vows to seek partial leave from teaching to commit to board

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Talent show: B.C. girl, 8, memorizes entire periodic table

Grade 4 student Maya Lakhanpal heads to B.C. talent show finals with unique talent

B.C. teacher suspended 5 days for touching colleague’s buttocks

Lancer Kevin Price of Chilliwack has handed the retroactive suspension for 2017 incidents

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

Black Panther claw, Power Rangers blade among 2018’s ‘worst toys,’ safety group says

The World Against Toys Causing Harm organized announced its 46th annual list in Boston on Tuesday

No one wants to guard lives in Sooke

Puzzled community cancelling swim programs due to inability to hire life guards

Threat of extremism posed by proportional representation overstated: academics

As B.C. voters decide on electoral reform, the Vote No side is cautioning that the system would allow extremists to be elected

What now for Calgary, Canada and Olympic Games after 2026 rejection?

Calgary, along with the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver and Whistler, B.C., made Canada a player in the international sport community

Sex-misconduct survey excludes vulnerable military members: Survivors’ group

But It’s Just 700 says recent research has shown young military members and those on training are among those most at risk for sexual violence

Most Read