Workers sort out contaminants at Emterra Environmental's material recovery facility in Surrey. The plant is one of three that will process recyclables collected for Multi-Material BC.

Workers sort out contaminants at Emterra Environmental's material recovery facility in Surrey. The plant is one of three that will process recyclables collected for Multi-Material BC.

B.C.’s new container recycling system starts to take shape

Multi-Material B.C. picks processors to handle blue box recyclables

A new container recycling plant will be built in the Lower Mainland this year as industry stewardship group Multi-Material B.C. takes over responsibility for an expanded blue box recycling program.

MMBC on Thursday named Green By Nature EPR, a firm formed by three recycling industry partners, to handle the processing of packaging and printed paper province-wide.

Cascades Recovery, Emterra Environmental and Merlin Plastics are the three companies that have joined forces to invest $32 million building the new container recycling plant, a new material recovery facility in Nanaimo, as well as other infrastructure.

Green By Nature won’t handle the curbside collection of packaging – that will still be done mostly by local municipalities, except for a few locations where new collectors are yet to be named.

Besides new plants, existing operations will also be used.

A material recovery facility in Surrey run by Emterra will help sort materials, and the plastics recovered are expected to be processed at Merlin Plastics‘ plant in Delta.

A site for the new container plant hasn’t yet been revealed.

“The entire system is designed to shift everything into two streams,” said MMBC managing director Allen Langdon. “One is for fibres – newspapers, cardboard and printed papers – and the other for containers.”

Green By Nature expects to employ 570 workers in all.

The new system – slated to launch May 19 – promises to add 10 new types of containers or other materials to what households can place in blue boxes.

The new categories include milk cartons, foam packaging, plant pots, aluminum foil packages, plastic clamshell containers and drink cups.

Langdon said a public education campaign will launch in late April.

In most communities, glass bottles and jars will be directed to depots, instead of curbside pickup, but Langdon said there are exceptions, as some municipalities have opted to continue segregated glass pickup.

MMBC says it needs to keep glass separate from paper and other recyclables to avoid contamination that slashes the value of materials.

“There will be a much better chance of it being recycled,” Langdon said, noting 90 per cent of glass going into blue boxes actually now ends up going to landfills.

MMBC’s operations are expected to cost $85 million per year and be fully funded by its member businesses, which include major retailers and consumer product makers.

The stewardship group is targeting a 75 per cent recycling rate, up from 50 per cent province-wide now.

The producer-pay system, mandated by the provincial government, has been controversial. Cities have feared they’ll be forced to pay more to maintain service, while businesses worry about paperwork and MMBC-levied fees to recycle the packaging they generate.

Emterra recycling facility in Surrey (2009 Video)

Just Posted

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

Okanagan Lake (File photo)
Thompson-Okanagan ready to welcome back tourists

The Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association expects this summer to be a busy one

Aerial view of a wildfire at 16 Mile, 11 kilometres northwest of Cache Creek, that started on the afternoon of June 15. (Photo credit: BC Wildfire Service)
Wildfire at 16 Mile now being held

Wildfire started on the afternoon of June 15 at 16 Mile, east of Highway 97

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Most Read