Earlier this month the District of Sechelt told residents it would no longer accept plastic film (including plastic bags) in curbside recycling pick up; however, some concern from the public has caused reconsideration this week.
"Until further notice, plastic film can continue to be recycled in Sechelt's curbside collection blue bins," communications manager Connie Jordison said this week, noting, "the comments we received certainly played a part in the decision to delay implementation of this change."
The change is being considered in order for the District's curbside recycling program to fit new guidelines being laid out by Multi Material B.C. (MMBC).
The new MMBC rules call for companies to take more responsibility for their packaging and they also shift plastic film out of the curbside collection stream.
Plastic film and plastic bags are among those recyclables that would have to be taken to a depot under the new rules set to go into effect on May 19.
When residents in Sechelt heard about the proposed change, some asked the District for reconsideration.
"People will not sort plastic wrap out of boxes where it is affixed, for example, and put it aside for a special trip to the SCRD [Sunshine Coast Regional District] Sechelt depot," resident Robert D'Arcy wrote in a letter to the District. "The mound of plastic forever building at the landfill will just carry on and enlarge."
Others were also concerned about the hassle of sorting plastic film and plastic bags from what is now a type of "catch all" system of curbside recycling offered by Direct Disposal.
"With the new MMBC regulations and looking to further the efficiency of our curbside program, Sechelt and our curbside recycling collection contractor looked at adopting the approach taken by others to stop collecting this material in curbside collection and having residents recycle this material at depots," Jordison explained. "However, as our current collection program has the ability to process and repurpose plastic film, Sechelt will be reviewing implementing this change."
D'Arcy was happy to hear there will be more thought given to the idea of pulling plastic film from Sechelt's curbside recycling stream, saying the idea was "a huge step backwards."
"Moreover, the decision to ban plastics from the blue bins was made without any consultation with the residents of Sechelt," D'Arcy said.
Exactly how the MMBC changes will affect the District of Sechelt's recycling program is currently being examined.
Learn more about the MMBC changes at http://multimaterialbc.ca.
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