Mission mayor wants to play hardball with Recycle BC

Hawes believes organization not living up to its responsibilities

Complaints about Mission’s new recycling system aren’t just limited to some members of the public.

On Monday, council voiced its concerns regarding the new program.

While many residents are critical about the new regulations requiring the separation of glass products and plastic wrap, several councillors want to know why Recycle BC (formerly MMBC) isn’t doing more to make returning these items more efficient and convenient.

Mission currently has two recycling facilities, the Mission Recycling Depot on Mershon Street and the Mission Bottle Depot on Park Street.

The bottle depot is the official Recycle BC (RBC) location.

Coun. Danny Plecas said RBC has done little to make the process easy.

“They should be doing a better job promoting their own site but also providing the service. You go down there and you can’t drive through it. Where do you drop your stuff?” he asked adding the RBC site isn’t as good as the district run location.

Two recycling locations are needed in Mission to handle the amount of material being generated, but Mayor Randy Hawes asked why RBC isn’t running, and paying, for both.

“I don’t understand why our taxpayers are paying for what is their responsibility, That’s just not right,” said Hawes.

He suggested council “hardball a little bit” in order to improve the depot.

“If we told them we were going to close ours, what would happen to their existing site? Would it be swamped? What would they then have to do? Expand?” he asked.

Hawes called RBC “foot draggers” who are reluctant to do anything at all unless they are forced to do it.

“They are negligent in their responsibilities and it’s costing our taxpayers money.”

Hawes said the district needs to demand RBC live up to their responsibilities..

Council has asked staff to contact Allen Langdon, managing director of RBC and set up a meeting with council to deal with the issues.

Mission, along with Abbotsford and Chilliwack, joined the RBC program in early 2017.

Beginning in April, changes in how material is picked up and sorted began with glass collected in a separate bin and film-plastics like plastic bags no longer accepted in curbside recycling, but instead available to be dropped off at a local recycling depot.

The district said in a press release that all of the changes were a requirement of the RBC program and are beyond the district’s control.

RBC began operating in 2014 as a non-profit organization responsible to the B.C. Government for residential recycling, both directly and through working with local governments

Since then, B.C. residents have paid to support RBC through fees built in to the cost of products by the producers of packaging and printed paper.