Delegates at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in Vancouver.

UBCM demands more time in recycling dispute

Cities seek improved terms to partner with Multi Material BC as blue box collectors

B.C. civic leaders are demanding an extra 90 days to negotiate acceptable terms for the coming shift of blue box recycling control to industry-run agency Multi Material BC.

Delegates at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention unanimously backed the resolution Thursday and agreed to strike a working group to help coordinate negotiations on behalf of affected cities.

Many cities fear degraded recycling services depending on how the new system rolls out and argue MMBC won’t pay them enough to cover their costs if they agree to keep running curbside collection as contractors.

“We see a significant hit to taxpayers to cover the cost of implementing this program,” said Prince George Coun. Cameron Stolz, disputing MMBC claims the $110-million system will be fully financed by the producers of packaging and paper.

“The terms and conditions of the contract are just simply unacceptable,” New Westminster Coun. Bill Harper said.

If cities decline to be paid collectors, MMBC will contract the service out to firms and may let them halt curbside pickup of glass and direct residents to take jars and bottles to a depot instead.

“That glass is going to go straight in the garbage,” Harper predicted. “So we’re actually walking backwards in terms of the diversion rate in New Westminster.”

Thursday’s vote came as MMBC claimed 85 per cent of B.C. cities with curbside pickup have accepted its offer to run the service for payment. It said five per cent declined by a Sept. 16 deadline, letting MMBC contract out, while 10 per cent will opt out and keep providing recycling pick up without any MMBC payment.

Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie, chair of Metro Vancouver’s zero waste committee, said the positive responses MMBC claims may include many cities that have conditionally signalled their intent, but want to negotiate better terms.

“In Metro Vancouver there is widespread rejection of the MMBC situation,” he said. “But I  believe there’s also a collective will to make it work.”

Brodie said he’s been assured provincial government officials are concerned and argued the planned launch date of next spring should be delayed.

“I think that the dates are really arbitrary. If it’s a good idea and we want to do it, May of 2014 is not magical. It could be May 2015 or any other date.”

The UBCM resolution was crafted from separate motions lodged by Smithers, Port Moody, North Vancouver and New Westminster.

Port Moody did sign on to the financial offer but is seeking improvements to the terms, Mayor Mike Clay said.

NDP local government critic Selina Robinson urged the province to “slow down and get it right.”

Just Posted

Uchucklesaht Tribe purchases former Redford School

Property will be a “multi-use building” similar to The Thunderbird

Merry Makers create new craft fair for Port Alberni

Hansen Hall fair begins as Work of Heart organizers retire

Port Alberni highland dancers invited to North American competition

Kali Nahorney received honourable mention medals in two categories

Government looks for public input on Cathedral Grove safety concerns

Port Alberni, Parksville info sessions invite public to help ‘shape future access’

VIDEO: People with diabetes meet their alert dogs

A diabetic alert dog is trained to detect low blood sugar in people who have Type 1 diabetes

Offensive Facebook post by Okanagan Conservative riding sparks outrage

Post taken down after Conservative MP in neighbouring riding condemns it and demands removal

John Horgan shrugs off low turnout, change to referendum option

‘No’ proportional representation group says voting should be extended

Two more government pot shops to open in Kamloops

Two private applications are also in the queue to come before city council by the end of the year

2 B.C. men charged after allegedly stealing $1,400 worth of butter

The two men, ages 23 and 25, are facing charges of theft under $5,000, Coquitlam police said

Invasive fire ants join the tourist swarms at Hawaii Volcano National Park

Invasive species found at popular tourist destination

Ten-year sentence for man convicted of B.C. belt-strangling death

Shayne McGenn guilty of manslaughter in 2016 death of David Delaney, 63

Roy Clark, country singer, ‘Hee Haw’ star, has died

Guitar virtuoso died because of complications from pneumonia at home in Tulsa, Okla. He was 85.

Lack of funding, culture on campus biggest barriers for Indigenous students: report

Report based on nearly 300 responses found lack of support at post-secondary schools a big concern

Most Read