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


Just Posted

Strong showing for local gymnasts

Local competitors do well in provincials

Column: Attending a Japanese wedding reception

Japanese marriage celebration a mix of eastern and western influences

Pursuit of Excellence defeats OHA in female prep hockey final

Okanagan Hockey Academy lost to Pursuit of Excellence 6-3 at the CSSHL final in Penticton

Naturewise: tales of ravens and their tricks

Quoth the raven, ‘Nevermore.’

Oliver holds onto Wine Capital of Canada designation

It might be hard to swallow for other communities but Oliver remains Wine Capital of Canada

VIDEO: B.C. Mounties reunite veteran with lost military medals

RCMP say Zora Singh Tatla, who served in the army in India for 28 years, is the righful owner

4 facts to ring in St. Patrick’s Day

What do you really know about the Irish celebration?

Experts urging caution as rabbits die by the hundreds in B.C. city

Province of B.C. confirms more positive tests for rabbit haemorrhagic disease

Federal government seeks public feedback on pedestrian safety

What safety measures do you think need to improved for pedestrians and cyclists?

Search continues for 10-year-old Montreal boy missing since Monday

Montreal police said they are exploring every possibility in search for Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou

Airline passenger-rights bill claws back protections for travellers: Advocate

Bill C-49 would double tarmac delays, scrap compensation for flights affected by mechanical failures

Canadian research vessel to explore 19th Century shipwrecks

Commissioned this week in Victoria, the RV David Thompson is Parks Canada’s newest vessel

UPDATED: ‘New wave’ of anti-pipeline protests return to Trans Mountain facility

About 100 demonstrators with Protect the Inlet marched to the Burnaby terminal Saturday

B.C. man to plead guilty in connection with hit-and-run that killed teen

Jason Gourlay charged with failure to stop at the scene of accident, attempting to obstruct justice

Most Read