Newsprint will still be collected in blue boxes even though there's no deal between the newspaper industry in B.C. and Multi-Material BC on how a new recycling system coming next year will be funded.

Newspaper industry, MMBC fall out over recycling fees

Newsprint will continue to be collected through blue boxes

Multi-Material BC will accept newsprint even though it has no deal yet with B.C.’s newspaper industry to contribute to the costs of the expanded blue box recycling system that will roll out next year.

Newspapers Canada president and CEO John Hinds said newspaper firms had an agreement with MMBC to make their contribution through in-kind advertising.

But MMBC later came back and pressed for payment mostly in cash – equivalent to draining $6 million a year from the print newspaper industry.

“The newspaper industry simply can’t afford the millions of dollars in fees they’re looking to set,” Hinds said. “Our view is we had an agreement. We negotiated in good faith and we expected them to honour that agreement.”

Newspapers Canada represents the three main publishing groups – community newspaper publishers Black Press (owner of this newspaper) and Glacier Media, as well as Postmedia, owner of the Vancouver Sun and The Province.

John HindsHinds said MMBC’s reversal came after it became part of a national producer stewardship group, the Canadian Stewardship Services Alliance, which is mainly controlled by multinational firms like Unilever, Walmart, and Proctor and Gamble.

Newsprint makes up about half of what goes into blue boxes but Hinds said newspaper firms were given no representation on MMBC or CSSA.

He noted 85 per cent of newsprint is already recycled and it makes up the most valuable recyclable commodity.

“We feel we’re the gold star pupils of the blue box,” Hinds said, adding unfair fees on newspapers would effectively subsidize the international consumer goods firms that must now recycle more packaging.

Allen Langdon, managing director for Multi-Material BC, said all member stewards are expected to contribute financially to the costs and letting newspapers do so in-kind would have left other firms unfairly subsidizing them.

“I would gather the newspapers are still figuring out how they want to discharge their obligations under the regulation,” Langdon said, noting papers have a duty to collect the waste they generate, regardless of whether or not they are ultimately represented by MMBC.

As it stands, print newspapers are not MMBC members.

Hinds had previously said the newspaper industry might look at its own newsprint retrieval system, but said for now it’s “great” if MMBC wants to collect it.

He said he remains concerned that the entire MMBC initiative is badly flawed and will put at risk the “really good” recycling programs run by municipalities.

“Decisions are no longer going to be made locally, they’re going to be made in Toronto or Arkansas or wherever else about B.C.’s recycling programs,” Hinds said.

“I don’t think this works for the environment and I don’t think this works for communities.”

RELATED STORY: B.C. cities vote on joining MMBC recycling system

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Mugshots Cafe: renovated and reopened

The Fernie-favourite once again has its doors open to the public

Pick all your apples and save the bears

As summer ends, bears become more active looking for food

Citing stability, B.C. Premier calls snap election for Oct. 24

John Horgan meets with Lieutenant Governor to request vote

B.C. Premier announces fall election

Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka reacts to election announcement

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

Four more cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

There are 31 active cases in isolation in the health region

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Liberal effort to reset policy agenda panned by rivals as too much talk, not action

Trudeau said it’s ‘all too likely’ families won’t be able to gather for Thanksgiving next month

Totem pole considered cultural appropriation removed from Nelson’s Hume School

The pole had also become rotted and was seen as dangerous to students

‘Show us the money’ for cannabis, local governments tell B.C.

Municipal tax, transit revenues falling as costs rise

‘It’s a boy’: Southern Resident killer whale calf born to J Pod is healthy, researchers say

J35 had previously done a ‘Tour of Grief,’ carrying her dead calf for 17 days

Most Read