Solid Waste & Recycling Magazine


BC First Nations to expand recycling under MMBC

Over 2014, more than a dozen First Nations communities in British Columbia will be launching or enhancing recycling services in their communities thanks to Multi-Material BC (MMBC), the non-profit organization that has assumed responsibility for managing residential packaging and printed paper recycling in BC on behalf of industry. 

First Nations set to receive financial incentives from MMBC to launch new or enhance existing recycling curbside or depot drop-off programs include:

The Cowichan Tribes; Gitxaala Nation; Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw First Nations; Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che;k’t’les7et’h’ First Nation; Klahoose First Nation; Nak’azdli Band; Nicomen Indian Band; Penticton Indian Band; Seabird Island Band; Seton Lake Band; Squamish Nation; Toquaht Nation; and the Upper Similkameen Indian Band. More communities are expected to partner with MMBC in 2015. 

“To ensure recycling is a success in BC, we must all join forces and do our part. By working together, we can divert more from landfill and help to create more sustainable communities,” Allen Langdon, MMBC’s Managing Director, said in a statement. “We are very pleased that thirteen First Nations communities have embraced the MMBC program and will see local benefits as a result. We are looking forward to working with these communities to increase participation in recycling while also helping to grow communities through more sustainable management of waste,” he added. 

The MMBC program shifts responsibility for financing recycling services for residential packaging and printed paper to the businesses that manufacture or supply those items to residents. MMBC, on behalf of its member businesses, provided financial incentives to First Nations to offset the cost of collecting recyclables from the curbside, or to operate depots where residents could drop-off their recyclables starting May 19, 2014 in most communities. 

One aboriginal community in BC’s North, the Nak’azdli Band, has been working together with the nearby District of Fort St. James to bring recycling services to the area.  They saw an opportunity for Nak’azdli to partner with MMBC to provide curbside Blue Box service to close to 1,000 households on the reserve and in the District of Fort St. James, as well as open a recycling depot in Fort St. James. 

“Ensuring that every resident has access to recycling services is just one part of how our communities are looking at reducing our overall environmental footprint,” said Pete Erickson, Community Lands and Housing Manager for Nak’azdli. “This will be the first time Nak’azdli will work alongside public works staff from Fort St James. We are excited about this new partnership and the opportunity it presents for our communities.” 

The MMBC program will enable nearly 1.25 million BC residents to recycle new categories of packaging that are not included in many current curbside or depot recycling programs, including hot and cold take-out beverage cups, milk cartons, plant pots, aluminum foil, and plastic film packaging.  A non-profit stewardship organization, MMBC is helping communities and businesses meet a BC Recycling Regulation that takes effect May 19, 2014.