On May 19, changes to provincial recycling and waste transfer rules will come into effect in B.C. The industry will be more involved, lowering costs for municipalities while ensuring that there's a market for recyclable materials.
It's called Multi Material BC (MMBC), and it's supported by $110 million in provincial funding to help municipalities adapt.
In Whistler, a gate will go up around the waste transfer stations at Nesters and Function Junction with paid staff ensuring that are properly separating recyclables during set hours of operation. That will ensure recycling loads aren't contaminated, making them easier to sell.
But Carney's Waste Systems isn't waiting until May, and have already started educating the public when it comes to separating soft and hard plastics at waste transfer stations.
"There will be one guy going back and forth to Nesters and Function, although he'll be at Nesters most of the time," said Owen Carney, owner and operator of Carney's Waste Systems. "We've just made the move a little ahead of the curve so we can get everything right by the end of winter."
Carney said the changes were necessary in order to sell the recycled material — especially soft plastics.
"It's very hard to (sell) comingled plastics," explained Carney. "We have a place where we can take the rigid plastics, and we can find a taker for the film to get rid of that as well.
"The markets for plastic are so tight with China. Everybody was sending them stuff and it was hugely contaminated, so about eight months ago they shut the door. If you ship there now and there's a contaminated load there's a big fine and you're cut off forever. There were people who were cheating and not doing it right. So they basically shut the door, and closed North America and the rest of the world out."
There is a market for recycled plastics in North America, Carney explained, but only when they are properly separated.
As well, the MMBC program will make it possible to recycle other materials, from plastics to mattresses, that previously weren't accepted by recycling programs.