Friday, September 5, 2014

Local recycling business forced to close after government changes to recycling sector

Click here to sign my petition calling on the Auditor General to review MMBC.

Both the Times Colonist and the Black Press local papers picked up on this story. Visit the links to read more:

Times Colonist, Sept 9 2014
New provincial recycling program killed Central Saanich firm, says ex-GM

Peninsula News Review, August 30 2014
Starved of Plastics, Syntal Products on Keating closes

Syntal General Manager Brian Burchill and MLA
Lana Popham, August 2014

The provincial government continues to push forward with recycling regulations that are bad for the environment and bad for local business. In fact, the BC Liberals are breaking small businesses in the recycling sector by gifting a monopoly over residential recycling to a handful of mega-corporations. 

Example number one is the recent closure of Syntal Products, located on Keating Cross Road.

Over the last sixteen years Syntal has allowed residents to drop-off used hard plastics at no charge for recycling. Syntal took in thousands of tons of the stuff, diverting it from the Hartland Landfill. The company uses innovative green technology to transform the material into all-plastic lumber, which never rots and, because it is non-toxic, is a more-environmentally responsible product than chemically treated wood.

According to Syntal’s General Manager, Brian Burchill, 60% of their supply of residential plastics was cut off the day the MMBC program started. The company was not longer viable and has now been shut down and sold to a business in another province.

MMBC is demanding that all materials collected are siphoned off to specific big businesses it selects. That is why smaller operations like Syntal are being shut-down and why small businesses across the whole sector are very concerned about being pushed under.

The closure of Syntal is a significant loss: thanks to the monopolistic practices of MMBC, enabled by the provincial government, we have lost good local jobs, a great and green local business and an environmentally-friendly system to locally handle and reuse plastic waste.

I’m extremely concerned for the future of our BC recycling businesses. The BC Liberals claims they are pro-business, but here is an example of them meddling with the free market to ensure large corporations can profit from the residential recycling sector. Ultimately it is the environment and the people of BC who will be worse off.

MMBC, a contentious and much-criticized residential recycling program, was introduced by the BC Liberal Government and came into effect this spring. It is controlled by the Ontario-based Canadian Stewardship Services Alliance’s board of directors, which includes representation from Unilever Canada, Metro, Walmart, Tim Hortons, Loblaw Companies, Coca-Cola Canada and Procter & Gamble.

Please click here for background on this issue.