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Packaging soon to be on recycling list

Currently, about half of the paper and packaging waste is already collected and recycled. - The News/Files
Currently, about half of the paper and packaging waste is already collected and recycled.
— image credit: The News/Files

The next step in recycling takes place next year, when the packaging and printed paper program kicks in.

Maple Ridge residents, though, won't notice the difference because they'll still dump their paper and packaging into separate coloured plastic bags, and trucks from the Ridge Meadows Recycling Society still will be hauling it away as they always have.

"There will be very little change," Coun. Corisa Bell this week.

The only one possible change is that recycling pickup may take place every second week instead of weekly, although that hasn't been decided, she added.

Some of those questions should be answered on Feb. 18, when MMBC speaks to council.

B.C. Recycling Regulation added packaging and printed paper to its mandatory list for recycling in 2011, with May 2014 as the target date for implementation, and is giving the agecies that are currently collecting recyclables first rights at collecting all of the recyclable paper.

A plan from Multi Material B.C. says that about half of the waste paper stream is already being collected and recycled, and says the latest step intends to build on that without disruption to the existing service.

However, the ultimate financial arrangement over who gets what percentage of the materials are sold and at what price hasn't been decided yet.

"The whole funding model [and who gets what share of revenue from selling recyclables] will be determined in the second quarter," said Kim Day, executive-director with Ridge Meadows Recycling Society.

According to the society's website, Maple Ridge may no longer have control over whether materials are recycled locally to green businesses or if they are shipped overseas.

"One of the things we feel strongly about is we try to develop the North American market and try to keep the commodities here."

There are stronger environmental regulations on the continent rather than overseas, she said.

But likely the existing purchasers of recyclers would remain the same.

However, MMBC still will track the end use to ensure the products are being recycled.

Day agreed that the main goal is to minimize change or disruption to residents as they do their recycling.

Currently, about half of the paper and packaging waste is already collected and recycled.

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