Opinion

EDITORIAL — MMBC: Cost is too high

You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who could argue that recycling is anything but a good idea.

How we pay for that recycling is another issue entirely.

The new Multi Material BC (MMBC) recycling system is set to begin, province-wide, on May 19 and businesses are rebelling against the new system.

The MMBC approach basically takes recycling out of the hands of local governments and puts it under the control of one, Ontario-based company.

Under this system, municipalities that sign on — including Nelson and Castlegar — will be compensated by MMBC for the recycling they collect, and businesses that produce the recyclable material will be charged a fee to pay for the program.

Those areas who have not signed on — the Regional District of the Central Kootenay wanted to, reluctantly, but was told it didn’t meet the deadline — must continue to pay for their own recycling programs.

At quick glance, this may seem like a good idea, but as the saying goes, the devil is in the details.

Consumers are not going to receive a financial boost from this new effort; in fact the opposite is true.

It is unlikely that municipal governments will decrease taxes for collecting recyclables, even though they receive compensation.

Add to that the fact that businesses will be forced to increase product costs to pay for the new fees and the result is consumers end up paying twice for the same service.

And it gets worse.

Some businesses are threatening layoffs to compensate for the new fees. Other companies have even suggested the new system will force them to close.

Any employee impacted by the new  MMBC program would be paying for the third time.

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