MMBC’s Draft PPP Stewardship Plan proposes that a market clearing price financial incentive be offered for collection of PPP from multi-family (MF) buildings to all types of collectors: public, private and not-for -profit.  Unlike the approach for curbside PPP collection services where the financial incentive will be offered to local governments that are currently providing PPP or garbage curbside collection service, the MF building financial incentive will be available to all interested collectors that meet the collector qualification standard.

Local governments that service multi-family buildings through utility pricing can accept MMBC’s financial incentive offer and use the incentive to offset the fee charged.  Private companies that service multi-family buildings through commercial contracts can accept MMBC’s financial incentive offer and use the incentive to offset their commercial terms.  Property managers will select their service provider.

There are several reasons for taking a different approach to MF building collection:

  • There is a wide spectrum of collection service delivery models for MF buildings in BC. In some areas the local government provides the service, while in others local governments are not involved and commercial collection is provided to MF buildings.  The proposed approach is intended to allow for all forms of MF building collection activities to continue.
  • In most jurisdictions, MF buildings are considered commercial properties for the purposes of garbage collection because MF buildings generally require garbage collection services that can be to be tailored to each building’s specific needs (such as size of the complex, access, available space, etc.).  In these circumstances, the building manager or strata council makes the determination as to what service best suits their needs.  Similarly, the MMBC plan is intended to provide each MF building with the flexibility to determine how a PPP collection service will be provided.
  • To achieve a 75% diversion rate of residential PPP, recycling performance levels at MF buildings will need to be improved significantly beyond current levels.  It is anticipated that by providing a financial incentive to a wide range of potential collectors and by allowing collection services to be tailored to the specific needs of each MF building, performance levels can and will increase.

Defining a Multi-Family Building

The distinction between single family and MF buildings, as it relates to waste collection services, varies among local governments.  Some local governments define residents eligible for single family curbside collection services by the number of suites in the building (usually up to four to six, although this varies).  Other jurisdictions consider factors such as accessibility by the collection vehicles providing the single-family curbside collection service, with all other MF buildings required to seek commercial collection services and/or utilize the MF collection services offered by the local government. This variability makes it challenging to provide a blanket description of which residents would be eligible for a curbside collection financial incentives and which would be eligible for a MF building financial incentive.  MMBC has chosen to distinguish as follows:

  • Curbside collection service – residents (whether in a single-family home or a multi-unit home) who place their own recycling containers at the curb for collection
  • Multi-family building collection service – multi-family building/complex where residents place PPP in a common container in a central storage area that is accessible by all residents and from which the PPP will be collected

These distinctions should be a reasonable guide for determining which residences are eligible for the curbside collection financial incentive and which residences are eligible for the multi-family building financial incentive.  Due to the wide variety of buildings and municipal collection service models, there may be instances where the proposed definitions above will not clarify the eligibility of a specific multi-family building or complex.  In those instances, MMBC will work with collection service providers to provide additional clarity.