The RDEK has opened a new Recycle BC Depot at the Columbia Valley Landfill, opening up dozens of new recycling opportunities for Valley residents and visitors.
“Over the years, the recycling regulations in the Province have evolved to require producers of recyclable products to be responsible for the recycling and end-of-life management of those products,” explains Environmental Services Manager Kevin Paterson. “The new Recycle BC Depot at the Columbia Valley Landfill provides residents with the ability to recycle a wide range of items that are not accepted in the local yellow bin program. Plus, for every tonne of product the RDEK collects at this depot, we will be compensated, which will save tax dollars for the public.” Some of the items that are accepted at the new Depot include Styrofoam, #7 plastics, milk substitutes, zippered bags like Ziplocs and pet food bags, aerosol cans and more.
Many people will be familiar with some of the older Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) programs for things like tires, oil and electronics, where you pay an eco or environmental fee at the store when you buy. That fee is intended to support a system for that product to be recycled and managed through the end of its life. One of the newer EPR programs is aimed at printed paper and packaging. It is managed by Recycle BC and the eco-fees are charged directly to the producers rather than consumers.
“The Recycle BC Program requires depots to be run with very specific guidelines, including gated and staffed locations,” explains Paterson. “Our existing yellow bin program does not meet their program specifications, so we have had to get creative as we are committed to increasing recycling opportunities for our residents without costing taxpayers extra.”
The yellow bin system remains in place; however, it only accepts paper, cardboard, tin/aluminum cans, grocery/shopping bags and plastics #1-#6. “It is very important to understand that this is a new option and a totally separate program from the yellow bin system. People will have to use the Recycle BC Depot if they want to access these new recycling opportunities as we do not have access to the same markets through our yellow bin system,” stresses Paterson.
The Recycle BC Depot is now open at the Columbia Valley Landfill located at 1884 Windermere Loop Road. The RDEK opened a depot in Kimberley in March and plans to open depots at other staffed RDEK Transfer Stations later this year.