Letters - A recycling rebuttal


Neepawa Banner & Press

RE: Apr. 27 ‘Right in the centre – Recycling business in big trouble in Manitoba’ article. The following is written in response to Ken Waddell’s editorial published on Friday, April 27, 2018 in the Neepawa Banner & Press and Rivers Banner. About 93 per cent of Manitobans have easy access to a residential recycling program funded by Multi‐Material Stewardship Manitoba Inc. (MMSM), an industry‐funded, not‐for‐profit organization. MMSM represents stewards — brand owners, producers, distributors and manufacturers — who pay fees to help cover the costs of recycling their products and packaging. MMSM is not a government agency.

MMSM collects fees from stewards and pays for up to 80 per  cent of residential recycling programs in municipalities across the province. Since it was launched in April 2010, MMSM has provided more than $80 million to Manitoba municipalities. In that same time, Manitobans have diverted 645,146,816 kg (645,146 tonnes) from landfill. Municipal recycling services payments are paid for each metric tonne of eligible printed paper and packaging material recovered from the residential recycling stream. Municipalities either provide the service themselves, or contract it out. All materials recovered are transported to recycling facilities where they are sorted and sold to end users. Without MMSM funding, municipalities would be responsible for 100 per cent of their residential recycling costs, versus the roughly 20% municipalities pay today.

The recovery rates of materials are determined by the amount of residential recycling material collected and reported to MMSM by municipalities, versus the amount of material generated and supplied into the residential system by stewards. Municipalities report collected material weights on a quarterly basis to MMSM. Recovery rates vary by material.

Unfortunately, some of the comments in this article are inaccurate. The beverage container program and the two cent container recycling fee is collected and administered by the Canadian Beverage Container Recycling Association (CBCRA), not MMSM. The funds are collected by CBCRA and used to fund its share of the blue box costs, away‐from‐home and public space recycling programs related to beverage containers through the Recycle Everywhere Program.

MMSM is a not‐for‐profit organization. Fees charged to stewards are based on funds required to pay our share of the municipal residential programs, plus MMSM’s administration costs. Consumers do not pay levies to MMSM on products found in the blue bin. MMSM believes education is key to increasing recovery rates and getting residents to make the right choices when it comes to their blue bin. Education is needed to make sure people know what to recycle,where to recycle and how to recycle. To date, our comprehensive educational programs have encouraged participation, resulting in higher recovery rates and helping consumers to be better recyclers. You can find more information on our program and municipal recovery rates on our website, at stewardshipmanitoba.org or simplyrecycle.com.

Karen Melnychuk
Executive Director, MMSM