Citizens taking action ~ Vancouver, Lower Mainland, and beyond.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Mumble BC webinar a snoozer -- except question period

Except for question period -- which turned out to be live -- the MMBC webinar was a total waste of time. Who wants to listen to a patronizing Ontario voice read PPT slides summarizing stacks of meaningless data?

But as soon as she sat down the members of the audience let her have it -- but politely (this is Canada).

Local government reps bit the hand that they hoped was going to feed them, finding fault with data that they said Mumble BC should have seen was glaringly inconsistent.

MRF operators raised an obvious practical question : is Mumble BC shooting for an aggregate target of 75% recycling -- or 75% of each different material. (This question, of course, belongs to the Ministry. It will be a central point of public concern: aggregate targets reward the laggards.)

MRF operators in BC like Cascades Recovery and Urban Impact and Emterra have been spending a fortune tooling up their plants with Rube Goldberg machines to sort ketchup bottles out of newspapers -- they don't want to spend a fortune if Mumble BC isn't going to give them part of the action. Cascades CEO Al Metauro jumped up three times and tried to pin MMBC down on how the pie was going to be divvied up.

Recycling advocates, we are about to lose EPR -- our Ministry is giving it away. Designating PackagingAndPrintedPaper as a single product category under the regulation is sending us down the road to single-stream recycling. And Mumble BC is quite open about intending to direct "non recyclable packaging" to incinerators.

Will we Occupy EPR -- or let the Retail Council take it away from us?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Mumble BC -- lets fight them with Ottawa's approach

MMBC is a front organization for producers of throw-away packaging. It is angling for permission from our provincial government to take over monopolistic control of recycling in this province by becoming the "steward" of packaging and printed paper under our newest EPR program.

MMBC is hosting a webinar tomorrow for "stakeholders" to discuss two background papers. The papers are being distributed to a select group of participants (if you want to read them, I can forward the pdfs). During the webinar participants will not hear each others questions or comments.

All this is an effort by producers of throwaway packaging to dumb down EPR. It is likely to succeed unless the public wakes up.

Ontario is just starting to climb out of the hole that MMBC's sister organization (OMMRI) dug for them a generation ago. OMMRI convinced the ON government of the day to authorize producer-subsidized curbside recycling for packaging and printed paper, rather than using the successful deposit/return program like the one we have for beverage containers. The results were so abysmal that Ontario has recently announced that big changes are needed (more about that soon).

As part of this effort, Ontario cities are being duped, like half of BC cities have, into adopting "single stream" curbside recycling. But the City of Ottawa resisted the pressure to dump everything in one cart. They asked The People and heard that separate collection was what was wanted.

Read about Ottawa's new plan here.