RDKB to drop Boundary recycling contract

The RDKB will no longer be administering the subside recycling program for Grand Forks beginning July 2017.

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary will no longer be administering recycling programs around the Boundary beginning the summer of this year. Instead, Multi Materials BC will take over the program, which recently went out to tender.

Tim Dueck, coordinator of solid waste management with the regional district (RDKB), confirmed that as of June 30, 2017, the RDKB will no longer be contracting from MMBC to provide recycling service.

“The regional district board of directors has passed a resolution informing MMBC that the RDKB will no longer be administering in the Boundary curbside recycling program,” Dueck said. The change will come into effect this summer, when the contract expires on June 30.

The RDKB contracted from MMBC to provide the service, and will no longer do so. The contract will now be administered directly through MMBC, and a request for proposals was released yesterday. The contract will be for a five-year term, and will not see a change to the types of materials collected curbside glass, Styrofoam and film plastic will continue to be accepted at depots only.

Under the new contract, the request for proposal states that containers must be provided by the contractor for resident use and blue bags will no longer be accepted.

“The [transition] is going to be done almost seamlessly, people will probably never notice that there is different administrator,” Dueck said.

Yesterday the RDKB also release its invitation to bid on the curbside garbage and green bin collection project. This will expand the curbside collection of garbage and green bin service to the West Boundary, potentially including Bridesville.

Dueck said this move is in line with the mandate of the RDKB, and will fit well under the MMBC umbrella.

“In B.C., regional districts have a mandate to look after landfills, and part of that historically is diversion, required by the province,” Dueck said. “Local governments have always said, ‘we are not the best people to do the recycling program because if you get say a computer or plastic pop bottle, who knows what is in there?’ But the manufacturers do, and they are best positioned to do end-of-life management of their own materials.”

That led to the formation of MMBC in May 2014, to remove the burden of recycling consumer packaging off the governments and onto the manufacturers. Dueck said removing the RDKB from the recycling equation when the contract expires is a natural next move, focusing back on landfills and diversion according to Dueck, the green bin program is aggressively good at diverting materials.

This follows on the heels of an effort by the RDKB to encourage compliance with MMBC regulations after a routine audit revealed that a large portion of items in the recycling program were misplaced. Dueck said the RDKB received numerous complaints, but it was most due to confusion with the program.

“I have had about 50 calls, which is not an extraordinary amount,” Dueck said. “One of the most common complaints was around confusion, where people would say ‘I thought we could, I thought I was doing the right thing.’”