Today, Thursday May 19, 2016, marks two years of operation for Multi-Material BC (MMBC). On behalf of member businesses, including retailers, restaurants, banks and other businesses that supply packaging and printed paper, MMBC oversees residential packaging and printed paper recycling throughout most of British Columbia. MMBC, through its collection partners, ensures household packaging and printed paper is picked up, sorted and sold to end markets. As a not-for-profit, member fees are reinvested into recycling program delivery, promotion and education, shifting costs away from the residents of BC.
In celebration of our second anniversary, we want to share the top 5 examples of how recycling is improving for the better in BC.
1. CURBSIDE FIRSTS
More than 20 communities have been able to launch recycling programs, for the first time, due to financial incentives provided by the MMBC program. This funding is made possible by the BC Recycling Regulation, which requires businesses and other organizations that supply packaging and printed paper to the BC market, to cover the costs associated with recovering and recycling these materials. Communities have benefited from having access to recycling for the first time, and from increased access across the province. You can read about how MMBC enabled new recycling services for the Nak’azdli Band, and allowed enhancement of services in the Mt Waddington Regional District and in more than 150 communities served by the MMBC program.
2. EFFICIENCY & INNOVATION
MMBC has implemented an industry-leading Extender Producer Responsibility (EPR) model for managing recycling on behalf of producers. A harmonized materials list means that, in communities that are part of the MMBC program, the same set of materials are able to be recycled from city to city, town to town and even in remote communities and villages that would previously not been able to achieve a viable recycling program on their own. In addition, a harmonized collection and post-collection system has allowed for MMBC to facilitate research and development with companies that wish to innovate to make their packaging more environmentally friendly.
3. POWERFUL PARTNERSHIPS
The success of MMBC’s program is made possible by more than 160 collection partners, including local governments, First Nations, non-profits and private companies; and the hard work of Community Champions such as Let’s Talk Trash, the Northern Environmental Action Team, Recycling and Environmental Action Planning Society, and the Ridge Meadows Recycling Society. MMBC also partners with and promotes the Recycling Council of British Columbia’s Hotline and Recylepedia App as a resource for finding out how recycle materials that are outside the scope of MMBC’s program.
4. PROMOTION & EDUCATION
From awareness campaigns to presence at community events, MMBC is committed to spreading the word about recycling, and ensuring both a high recovery rate of packaging and printed paper, and that more of the materials collected for recycling can actually be recycled as intended through proper sorting and keep non-recyclable items out of the MMBC stream. MMBC communicates with BC residents through social media and regular blog posts, and supports collectors across the province by providing a wealth of promotion and education resources, including recycling guides, icons, advertising creative, videos and more.
5. INTERNATIONAL LEADERSHIP
Organizations and governments across Canada, the United States and Europe are looking to BC as an example of EPR success. By sharing our story with industry associations, provinces, states and other interested parties throughout the world, MMBC is helping to advance recycling programs and contributing to addressing global environmental concerns.