An education campaign on curbside recycling in the Town of Smithers should be rolling out soon, according to Multi-Material BC.
MMBC is the provincial non-profit organization that is assuming responsibility for managing residential packaging and printed paper (PPP) for industry starting in May.
Late last year, the Town of Smithers and Village of Telkwa both signed on with MMBC to provide a curbside recycling service to begin this spring. Telkwa has had curbside recycling for the last three years but the service is new to Smithers.
Allan Langdon, MMBC managing director, said they will have educational materials available for B.C. communities to use in March. They will play a supporting role but it’s up to the individual communities to communicate the program with their residents, he said.
“I think for Smithers having access to curbside recycling is a big story,” he said.
“[The individual communities] retain the responsibility of communicating with the residents. We’ll have a range of tools and we’ll be happy to support Smithers. We think that by getting the materials out starting March and into April provides sufficient time to get people educated about what they can and can’t put in their blue box.”
Town of Smithers Deputy Mayor Frank Wray said they want to get materials out to residents as soon as possible so the initiative is successful from the start.
Wray said the town has had a hard time getting straight answers from MMBC on some major issues — like where the collection facility will be located and exactly what can be recycled under the program.
“There will be a learning curve for residents,” he said. “Without us having all of the proper information, it’s really hard for us to give out any educational material at this time.”
Starting in May, Town of Smithers residents will be having their garbage picked up bi-weekly, with recyclables being gathered on off weeks. A blue recycling cart will be provided to all homeowners prior to the program launch.
Smithers Mayor Taylor Bachrach previously told The Interior News the addition of a curbside recycling service should not affect municipal tax rates.
MMBC is providing funding for communities on a per capita basis, which should offset any additional costs for residents, the Mayor said.
“The calculations our staff have done show that with the proposed program, potentially residents won’t see any increased costs from what they’re paying now but they’ll be getting two different services,” he said.
The Town of Smithers does have some basic information on the program on their website — www.smithers.ca.