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BC updates recycling reg, exempts small business from MMBC

British Columbia (B.C.) officials are reminding the public that its industry-led stewardship organization responsible for the province’s new recycling program has several exemptions for small businesses. 


British Columbia (B.C.) officials are reminding the public that its industry-led stewardship organization responsible for the province’s new recycling program has several exemptions for small businesses. 

As the new recycling program under Multi-Material British Columbia (MMBC) kicked off on May 18, 2014 in most of the province, B.C. has now updated the provincial recycling regulation to ensure small producers of packaging and printed paper are exempt.

These exemptions apply to the vast majority of B.C. businesses, which means even though they put packaging and printed paper into the residential waste stream, they are exempt from any reporting or recycling costs associated with the program. Less than 3,000 businesses in B.C. are affected by this program, or less than one per cent of the total number of businesses in the province.

An exemption is granted if any one of the following four criteria is met:

  • under $1 million in annual revenues
  • under one tonne of packaging and printed paper supplied to B.C. residents
  • operate as a single point of retail sale and are not supplied or operated as part of franchise
  • is a registered charity.

Where a typical franchise has locations in B.C., the reporting and financial responsibilities for recycling paper and packaging, which end up in residential blue boxes, lie with the parent corporation, not with the individual franchise owners.

The province also has successfully urged MMBC to give small-to medium-sized businesses the option of an annual flat fee if the business is a low-volume producer of packaging and printed paper. Businesses producing between one and five tonnes can pay a pre-determined recycling fee, saving the administrative burden of detailed reporting. 

The flat fees are set as follows:

$550 for businesses that produce between 1 and 2.5 tonnes of packaging and printed paper

$1,200 for businesses that produce between 2.5 and 5 tonnes of packaging and printed paper

These initiatives respond to requests from B.C.’s businesses for creative solutions to meet the intent of the regulation, while avoiding inadvertent costs or administration.


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