Saturday November 01, 2014

City signs on to new recycling deal

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The City of Yorkton will be entering into an agreement with Multi-Material Stewardship Western Inc. to help fund local municipal recycling efforts.

Currently, “The City of Yorkton’s recycling program is well established and is funded through recycling fees identified on residential water bills, sale of recyclable material and grant programs,” explained Michael Buchholzer Director of Environmental Services with the city.

The system has faced pressures, said Buchholzer.

“In the fall of 2008, the market price for baled paper and cardboard dropped sharply due to the global recession, severely threatening the independent recycling services provided by municipalities. There was a risk that municipalities would have to scale back services or stop recycling altogether,” he said.

These market fluctuations further emphasized the necessity for a sustainable funding mechanism for recycling programs. Until the Multi-Material Recycling Program (MMRP) is fully implemented and the financial burden of recycling is shared by the product producers and consumers, municipalities are responsible for 100 per cent of the costs and risks associated with recycling, detailed a report circulated to Council at its regular meeting Monday.

“In 2009, the province established a program to provide bridge funding to ensure at-risk municipalities can continue their recycling operations until a new Multi-Material Recycling program is fully implemented,” said Buchholzer.

“The new program titles “Multi-Material Stewardship Western” to be implemented January 1, 2015, will shift the responsibility for funding household packaging away from a municipally funded system, and toward a model that hinges on the idea that those who produce, use or derive benefit from products should take responsibility for the full life-cycle costs of those materials.

“Put simply, the cost of recycling these materials will be included in the purchase price … Similar and successful stewardship programs are already in place around the province for used oil products, scrap tires, and electronic waste.”

However the City has to sign on to be part of the program.

“In order to receive the funding, the City must sign an agreement with the Multi-Material Stewardship Western Inc. Funding is based on the amount of material the municipality processes. We are predicting that the funding will be similar to that in previous years, but adjustments for industrial, commercial and institutional waste packaging and paper are subjective and will vary funding amounts. Not signing the agreement means the City will have to incur the entire cost of residential recycling. Regular reporting to MMSW of recyclable material quantities will be required. This information will be supplied by Saskatchewan Abilities Council,” said Buchholzer.

Council unanimously  agreed to sign the deal.

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