According to Leanne Koehn, garbage is just things we haven’t yet figured out what to do with. (File photo)

According to Leanne Koehn, garbage is just things we haven’t yet figured out what to do with. (File photo)

Mattresses, e-cigarettes, solar panels will no longer go to the dump in B.C.

Ridge Meadows Recycling Society excited over province’s plan to keep more items out of landfill

Several new products will soon be able to find a place at recycling depots instead of landfills, according to an announcement made by the province, Friday.

Electric-vehicle batteries, mattresses, single-use fuel canisters and fire extinguishers are among the products that will be eligible for province-wide recycling as part of a five-year plan to advance recycling in British Columbia. Other items that will be added to the province’s Recycling Regulation and the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) strategy include more electronic products such as solar panels, more types of lithium-ion batteries, electric-vehicle chargers and e-cigarettes.

Ridge Meadows Recycling Society’s Leanne Koehn ecstatic over the news, said that this was a great first step in the right direction.

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“B.C. is a leader in the recycling program and we are so excited when a new product is added to the list of items that can stay out of the landfill,” she said, adding that garbage was just things we hadn’t yet figured out what to do with and this announcement doesn’t mean there will be changes tomorrow, but it still means they are coming.

Under the EPR Five-Year Action Plan, the changes will be phased in to give producers time to set up the necessary systems. EPR requires producers to take responsibility for the life-cycle of their products, including collection and recycling. This shifts the costs and responsibility from local and Indigenous governments and taxpayers to the producers and consumers of products.

“Expanding the number of recyclable products will mean convenient, free collection of those products and a cleaner environment for British Columbians,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “Adding to the product list will reduce the waste that’s now being sent to the landfill or illegally dumped in back alleys or green spaces. This will protect our environment and boost our economy through an increase in recycling operations and re-manufacturing.”

More information on this five-year EPR Action plan can be found here: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/environment/waste-management/recycling/recycle/extended_producer_five_year_action_plan.pdf

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