Staff sort plastic at Ridge Meadows Recycling Depot in Maple Ridge.

Ridge may take recycling money, join program

District of Maple Ridge not worried about potential fines

The District of Maple Ridge should just take the million dollars from Multi Material B.C. and keep things business as usual down at the recycling depot.

If council votes for that option, residents wouldn’t notice any difference. The Ridge Meadows Recycling Society will keep picking up recyclables from the ends of driveways, as it has for decades.

Council considered the staff suggestion Monday as B.C. moves towards making it mandatory to recycle packaging and paper.

In May 2011, the province made industry responsible for recycling of packaging and paper, with a goal to raise the recycling rate from 50 per cent up to 75 per cent.  Multi-Material British Columbia was established to develop a stewardship plan to collect, process and re-sell the recycled material.

“They have said the majority of municipalities in the Lower Mainland are choosing to move to Option 1, which is to take the cash,” said public works general manager Frank Quinn.

“Take the cash, see how it works out over the next year, and decide whether they want,” to continue.

The revised contract allows any side to bail out of the agreement with only six months notice, and return to running their own recycling programs.

Council considered the same option in September, with a deadline looming. The deadline to sign on to the program is now Nov. 30, allowing the program to start up next May.

One concern was the fines that cities could face if their paper and packaging becomes contaminated with other materials. Those penalties could range up to $120,000 a year.

But municipal engineer Dave Pollock said because of the quality of Maple Ridge’s recyclables, that’s not an issue. Unlike most cities, Maple Ridge residents separate their recyclables into six bags, putting newspaper, cardboard, cans and cartons, plastic, office paper and glass into separate bags, creating a cleaner stream of recyclables.

“We feel comfortable we’ll avoid any penalties in that regard.”

Mayor Ernie Daykin said the district will be able to cope with the change. “We’re in a much better position than most municipalities.

Two other options included refusing the money and allowing MMBC to collect all recyclables, every second week instead of the weekly pickup.

The third is for Maple Ridge to exclude itself entirely from the program and continue collecting recyclables as it has before. However, under that scenario, recycling revenues could go up and down with commodity prices and the district wouldn’t receive the $1 million annually that would stabilize recycling operations.

Council heard that the newspaper industry has told the district it’s not participating in the program. Newsprint is a large part of curbside pickup. The newspaper industry could start its own recycling program or keep working with MMBC, Pollock said.

If council votes for Option 1 at its Nov. 26 meeting, MMBC will pay the District of Maple Ridge the million dollars. That money then will be put back into the recycling society to offset revenue lost to the program.

Just Posted

Being Young; Tackling the ‘second-week slump’

Defeating the slump is difficult.

Along the Fraser: A flawed made-in-B.C.-plan for wild salmon

‘The greatest value B.C. places on wild salmon is cultural.’

Marauders to play in championship Saturday

Pitt Meadows hosting senior boys basketball tournament

Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows part of speculation and vacancy tax

Watch the mail, fill out the form, or you’ll be taxed

Another Burrard wins a field lacrosse scholarship

Cooke playing for Newbury Wolves in South Carolina

VIDEO: Students in MAGA hats mock Native American at Indigenous Peoples March

Diocese in Kentucky says it is investigating the matter, caught on video by onlookers

Want to avoid the speculation tax on your vacant home? Rent it out, Horgan says

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

VIDEO: Giants wrap southern swing with 6-4 win in Spokane

The Lower Mainland-based hockey team defeated the Chiefs Friday night.

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

Most Read