For Immediate Release
Oct. 13, 2012
Ministry of Environment
B.C. continues as national leader in recycling programs
VICTORIA – B.C. will beat national targets on recycling by close to a year, said Environment Minister Terry Lake at the annual meeting of the Canadian Council of the Ministers of Environment (CCME), which wrapped up Thursday, and in advance of Waste Reduction Week Oct. 15-21.
In 2009, the CCME agreed to develop a Canada-wide Action Plan for Extended Producer Responsibility and called for all jurisdictions to implement an EPR program for packaging and printed materials by 2015. EPR programs are one of the most successful methods of waste reduction and put the onus on producers to take full responsibility for the collection and recycling of their products and packaging.
B.C. is adhering strictly to this commitment and is requiring producers to submit an initial stewardship plan detailing how they will finance and manage the recycling of packaging and printed paper by Nov. 19, 2012. An approved stewardship plan is expected to be in place by May 2014, well in advance of the 2015 goal.
To further educate the public and promote the importance of recycling, reusing, composting and other conservation measures, the B.C. government is joining jurisdictions across Canada in celebrating the 12th annual Waste Reduction Week. Waste Reduction Week is co-ordinated by a coalition of 13 recycling councils and sister organizations across Canada, including the Recycling Council of BC (RCBC).
RCBC is a key partner for the Ministry of Environment and provides invaluable services to the ministry, including the Recycling Hotline, Recyclepedia, announcements related to new stewardship plans, program launches and future programs under development.
B.C. has more programs than any other jurisdiction in North America and continues to be an innovative leader in EPR and in July 2012 was awarded the highest ranking in the country for EPR programs on EPR Canada’s national report card.
For example, the fifth and final phase of B.C.’s electronic waste program was phased in beginning July 1, 2012, and gives the public more options to recycle a variety of products such as electronic toys, video game systems, sewing machines, power tools and IT equipment.
Creating programs that help reduce the amount of waste going to landfills, and subsequently raising awareness about them, helps reduce pressure and cost on local governments and taxpayers. Resources can then be focused on building and maintaining a strong collaborative relationship with industry and stakeholders.
Terry Lake, Minister of Environment –
“I am very proud of the efforts made across the province to go green and embrace a recycling society so that we eliminate the amount of waste that’s simply being thrown away. Our government will continue to work collaboratively with industry, local governments and NGOs on putting an EPR program for packaging and paper in place by May 2014 – and together we will not only protect our environment, but also support the economy through the creation of green jobs.”
Brock Macdonald, CEO, Recycling Council of BC –
“B.C. is the North American leader in Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), which gives us a huge advantage in reducing, reusing, and recycling our way towards a provincial zero waste goal.”
“As part of Waste Reduction Week, we want to further increase public awareness and continue to set the example for other jurisdictions to follow. A lot of hard work has gone into getting our EPR programs to the high level they are today. Receiving national recognition with the highest marks in EPR Canada’s Report Card shows the great progress we have made.”
· British Columbia’s expanded electronic-waste programs is the first of its kind in Canada and North America.
· Since 2007, more than 75,000 metric tonnes of electronics have been diverted from landfills.
· B.C.'s recycling regulation makes industry responsible for managing what happens to their products once the consumer is done using them, including collecting and recycling.
· This regulation has led to the environmentally sound management of over 120,000 tonnes of solid materials every year with glass, tires and plastic accounting for about 90 per cent.
· In addition, many municipalities throughout British Columbia offer curbside collection of recycling or other options at recycling and collections centres. The private sector also offers a variety of recycling services located at multi-material collection depots located across B.C.
· Information on where to recycle can be obtained from the Recycling Council of BC’s Recycling Hotline (1 800 667-4321) or the Recyclepedia website: http://rcbc.bc.ca/recyclepedia
BC Newsroom - Ministry of Environment:
Recycling Council of BC: http://rcbc.bc.ca/events/waste-reduction-week
Ministry of Environment Communications
Connect with the government of B.C. at: www.gov.bc.ca/connect