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2014 October Pender Post

On October 1, the recycling depot switches to winter hours. The depot will no longer be open on Fridays. Saturday hours will be 10 am to 3 pm. Sunday hours 1 – 4 pm, and Tuesdays 8 am to 3 pm. Don’t be the recycler parked in front of the chain, waiting for the depot to open on the first Friday in October!

Over the last few months I have mentioned that funding for recycling of Packaging and Printed Paper (PPP), in essence the Blue Box program throughout BC, was going to shift from local government funding to a system whereby manufacturers and importers of these products would be responsible to pay for the collection and processing of PPP. This industry group created an agency called Multi-Material BC (MMBC). This funding transition has involved years of calculating, defining of terms, establishing of rules, and negotiating. Perhaps the biggest problem is that the challenges and funding needs of Pender Island recycling as well as those operations on Salt Spring, Mayne, Saturna, and Galiano are completely different from those of major BC cities and towns - in fact totally different from any centers not surrounded by an ocean.

Here is the shocker - The funding now provided by MMBC only covers about 25% of our depot’s actual costs to provide this PPP recycling service. At that level of funding, the Pender Island Recycling Depot and the other Southern Gulf Islands depots may be forced to drastically reduce service or close their doors entirely within a short period of time. Currently, the CRD provides the principal funding for the recycling operations on the Southern Gulf Islands. This CRD service contract represents about 70% of the Pender Island recycling depot’s total annual revenue. The CRD funding continues until the end of April 2015. Fortunately, our revenues are generously augmented by Penderites in the form of returnable bottles (pop, beer and liquor), backhauls, annual memberships and donations. However, if nothing else changes the 70% funding of CRD will be replaced by the 25% funding of MMBC. The math speaks for itself.

The BC government says it is committed to ensuring that recycling is available throughout the province, including the Gulf Islands, and that the funding and quality of service will be maintained during this shift from local government to industry control. To once again bring the situation to the provincial government’s attention, the Gulf Islands recycling societies are asking residents to join them in signing a petition addressed to the BC Minister of Environment, expressing both the right to have PPP recycling operations on the islands, and the dire financial effect the MMBC funding formula will have on these operations. Next time you are at the depot, PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION.

You have generously supported recycling on Pender for 25 years and, frankly, the support represented by your signature may be the most important support you will ever provide. Penderites are known to step up when there is a need, a classic reason why they’re all good days on Pender.

Mike Wiley

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