Thirteen BC First Nations Communities Enhance Recycling Programs

Multi-Material BC works with communities to introduce local services with local benefits

VANCOUVER, May 13, 2014 /CNW/ - More than a dozen BC First Nations communities will be launching or enhancing recycling services in their communities in 2014, thanks to Multi-Material BC (MMBC), the non-profit organization that will assume responsibility for managing residential packaging and printed paper recycling in BC on behalf of industry. 

First Nations who will 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," said Allen Langdon, MMBC's Managing Director.  "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."

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, will provide financial incentives to First Nations to offset the cost of collecting recyclables from the curbside, or to operate depots where residents can drop-off their recyclables, starting May 19 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.

MMBC is among more than 20 Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) programs introduced in British Columbia over the past two decades, which has seen industry assume responsibility for end-of-life management of items such as beverage containers, electronics, paint, used oil, tires and batteries.

EPR programs shift responsibility for recycling items to the producers who created them.  Similar programs for packaging and printed paper have been successfully implemented in Ontario, Manitoba, and Québec with other provinces expected to follow suit.

About Nak'azdli Band

Nak'azdli Band is a Dakelh First Nation government with a main community located near Fort St. James, British Columbia. Nak'azdli First Naiton services 16 reserves totaling 1,458 hectares, and is made up of approximately 1,800 members living both on- and off-reserve.  The Nak'azdli Band is a member of the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council, along with seven other First Nation Bands.  Recent archeological studies indicate that the Nak'azdli Dakelh have inhabited this territory for thousands of years.

Nak'azdli is a holistic community that believes in maintaining and enhancing traditional values by learning, living and teaching culture and heritage, and a self-determined community made up of diverse individuals and businesses working together to promote education, health, economic progress, language and cultural practices.

About MMBC

In May 2011, BC's Recycling Regulation was updated to include packaging and printed paper. The regulation shifts the responsibility for managing the residential recycling of packaging and printed paper from regional and municipal governments and their taxpayers to business.

Multi-Material BC (MMBC) is a non-profit industry-led and financed organization that will assume responsibility for managing residential packaging and printed paper recycling on behalf of industry in May 2014.

More information, including lists of MMBC collectors and members, is available at www.multimaterialbc.ca

SOURCE Multi-Material British Columbia

For further information: Media Contacts: Elisha McCallum, 778-668-0185, Elisha.mccallum@fleishman.ca; Grace Hon, 604-688-2505, grace.hon@fleishman.ca