Salvaging a superior law

Salvaging a superior law

Brad Junkin says Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako’s limiting salvaging contradicts federal law.


So once again the RDBN, without public consultation and completely disregarding unsolicited public input (last year’s petition to reopen metal and wood piles to salvage), has passed a new bylaw making it an offence to salvage metal and only provided limited wood salvage from its regional salvage sites, promising fine for offenders ranging from $500 – $10,000. It was not a unanimous vote!

This means that artisans, hobbyists, low income families, a person looking for a small replacement part for a bike, mower, or metal bar, and those with a genuine interest to reduce waste, if caught will become a criminal or will have to do without — or will they?

I understand the RBDN is concerned about business enterprises salvaging on the site for profit, but that is where the enforcement and fines should be going. Liability? Bull. Every individual who enters a transfer station site is warned upon entry of the risks. Enter at your own risk!

But let’s get back to “or will they?”

Environment and Climate Change Canada – Environmental Protection Act (The Law) – Quote:

“In Canada, the responsibility for managing and reducing waste is shared among federal, provincial, territorial and municipal governments. Municipal governments manage the collection, recycling, composting, and disposal of household waste, while provincial and territorial authorities approve and monitor waste management facilities and operations.

“Reducing the amount of waste we produce is by far the most effective way to reduce the flow of garbage into landfill. To be really effective, we have to incorporate the 3Rs — Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle — into our daily routine. This means reducing and reusing materials and packaging wherever possible and participating in municipal 3Rs programs.”

RDBN is in contravention to the direction set out by the federal EPA.

Reuse of material has priority over the recycling of material in every direction set forth by Environment and Climate Change Canada.

The reason is simple: recycling adds to the carbon footprint and pollution. Reusing materials (when able) is the mandate. This direction is throughout the various statutes, acts and, environmental laws. RDBN is, by passing this bylaw to prevent reusing salvageable material, contravening the federal law.

As elected public representatives they definitely are not representing the public’s interest nor listening to the public.

EPA – Environment and Climate Change Canada Directive

Municipal solid waste (MSW) or simply “solid waste” are terms used by the waste management sector to refer to reusables, recyclables, compostables, and residual waste (i.e., garbage) from homes, businesses, schools, and other institutions. The term MSW can be applied regardless of the type of settlement e.g., hamlet, village, town, municipality, First Nation.

Reduce risks

— keep hazardous substances out of the landfill and no open burning of waste.


— sell or donate reusable household items (e.g., furniture, clothing) and other materials and products (e.g., lumber).


— collect products and packaging for recycling and compost food and yard waste.

In short, the RDBN is trying to enforce a law that contravenes a superior law. Might have to find out the hard way in a court of law.

Reuse rules!

Brad Junkin CD