Part of the Cariboo Regional District’s Solid Waste Info Series:
The BC government has been regulating recycling in BC for as far back as 1970 with the introduction of a mandatory deposit-refund system for soft drink and beer containers. In 1991 programs for lead-acid batteries and tires came into place. Since 1994 over 14 additional Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) programs have been added to the regulation including medications, household hazardous waste, used oil and used oil products, thermostats, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, alkaline, UPS and lithium batteries, e-waste, appliances, lighting products, power tools, cell phones, packaging and printed paper.
EPR is an environmental management strategy guided by the principle that whoever designs, produces, sells, or uses a product takes responsibility for minimizing that product’s environmental impact at the end of its life. The idea behind EPR is sensible; the businesses that make products, and the users of these products, should pay for recovering and recycling materials.
In British Columbia, industry’s response to EPR is product stewardship. The product stewardship model is comprised of several key players – manufacturers, retailers, governments, and consumers – working together, ultimately with the goal of diverting products from landfills and ensuring they are responsibly recycled at their end-of-life.
The Cariboo Regional District’s (CRD) role in product stewardship is to limit stewardship products from entering the landfill; Bylaw 4950’s landfill ban on recyclables will help the CRD to achieve this. Starting on July 4, 2015 at the Central Cariboo Transfer Station on Frizzi Road in Williams Lake, a landfill ban on recyclables will come into effect. Any load of waste (garbage, wood, or demolition and construction) containing more than 10 per cent by volume of recyclables will be charged the greater of a $25 fine, or $200 per tonne as per the new bylaw.
Recyclables include, but are not limited to, deposit beverage containers, pharmaceuticals, empty oil containers, oil filters, paints, lead-acid batteries, antifreeze, antifreeze containers, electronics, and electrical products including batteries and accessories, passenger and light truck tires, large and small appliances, scrap metal, corrugated cardboard, packaging, and printed paper (household recyclables). Residents who generate any of these recyclables will need to develop alternate disposal methods to ensure they are being recycled. To view the full content of the Bylaw, visit the CRD website at cariboord.ca.
Bylaw 4950 has been established, and will be enforced, to protect the environment and manage tax dollars responsibly. Diverting recyclables from the landfill conserves landfill space; keeps harmful substances out of the environment; reduces methane gas production; and conserves resources.
Education for residents will also play a key role in diverting product stewardship recyclables from the landfill. Additional staff will be on site at the transfer station to help inform residents and answer questions. Information on drop off locations for stewardship items can be found at rcbc.ca as there are numerous depot drop-off locations throughout the Cariboo Region.
From January to the end of April 2015 over 95 tonnes of packaging and printed paper (household recyclable) was collected from the Central Cariboo, the 150 Mile House, the Frost Creek and the Wildwood Transfer Stations combined. This is more than the almost 94 tonnes that was collected from the City of Williams Lake’s curbside collection over the same time frame.
Did you know that when you purchase recyclables, you also pay for the cost of recycling them? If the recyclables end up in the garbage, you as a taxpayer, pay again to landfill them. Put your money to good use and recycle!
Waste wise education is delivered to students in the CRD, but the CRD would like to make waste education available to everyone, as we all have the ability to change our waste handling habits for the better. For more info on Waste Wise call 250-398-7929 or find details on Waste Wise activities and events at www.ccconserv.org.
Please join us this year to become waste wise and make a difference. For direct access to our monthly topics “Like” us on facebook at www.facebook.com/caribooregion, or visit us online at www.cariboord.ca.