Recycle BC has made an offer to the Regional District of Central Kootenay on how it would take over rural recycling, but the RDCK is not buying it and wants to negotiate.
According to RDCK chair Karen Hamling, the provincial agency wants to provide seven rural recycle depots, while the RDCK currently has 27.
“People would have to drive further,” she said. “The depots would not be open 24 hours a day (as they are now). We just want to get back to the table and try for a better service than what they are offering at this point.”
Recycle BC collects recycling in most areas of the province (including within Nelson) at no cost to taxpayers. The costs are borne by the manufacturers of the waste products, through Recycle BC.
But the local rural areas have not been enrolled in that program and therefore the RDCK pays about $700,000 per year from taxes to pay for recycling services.
Recently the provincial government stepped in with more money for Recycle BC so it could expand its services to some unserved areas like the RDCK.
Hamling says Recycle BC’s offer would diminish the service offered to residents and that if the RDCK were continue to offer its current level of service, it would still cost taxpayers a significant amount of money. But they are going to keep talking.
“We are still trying to work with them,” she said.
Hamling will be traveling to Victoria in the near future to discuss the issue with environment minister George Heyman.