You can now recycle more items in your blue box (if you live in a house) or your building’s “containers” cart (if you live in an apartment or condominium). These new items include: milk cartons, paper containers, Tetrapaks (e.g. soup containers), paper cups, ice cream tubs and paper/metal containers such as frozen juice cans.
This is good news, although there has been some push back from the business community. Some small business owners feel they are being unduly “taxed” as the burden of responsibility to manage the waste they are producing now shifts to them. They say they will have to pass on the cost to consumers. There is a very big point that is being missed in all of the media coverage I’ve seen so far. This shift to producer responsibility should be about the ability of industry to innovate. When business is pressured to take responsibility for their own waste, then they do. Cutting down on packaging, designing reusable or completely recyclable packaging are just some of the ways this is already happening. This is an opportunity to be creative, and more cost-effective. No need to tax business or consumers.
The changes to the recycling program are in response to provincial legislation, under which an industry alliance called Multi-Material BC (MMBC) was formed to represent industry in establishing a province-wide recycling program. MMBC is one of more than 20 extended producer responsibility programs introduced in BC during the past two decades. The City of Vancouver entered into an agreement with MMBC and will continue recycling collection services for homes, apartments and strata complexes. Check your area for details here.