The Government of British Columbia has taken steps to further support recycling in communities throughout the province by approving a stewardship plan for the newspaper sector.
The stewardship plan and related agreements will support Recycle BC (formerly Multi-Material BC) in its efforts to offer its services to more than 30 waitlisted communities that otherwise would be further delayed in receiving funding and recycling services. The plan and agreements also help bring the newspaper sector into compliance with provincial recycling regulations.
The agreements commit Recycle BC to continue adding waitlisted communities as the provincial government completes its compliance work with producers of packaging and paper. Five-year agreements also commit the newspaper sector to contributing to the costs of recycling their product by making a combination of annual cash and rebate payments on provincial public-sector newspaper and digital-media advertising costs. The government will then use those funds to help offset Recycle BC’s costs to collect newspapers and expand services to waitlisted communities.
Taking into account the unique challenges faced by the newspaper industry provincially and nationally, the B.C. government is supporting this plan over its five-year duration with temporary support previously approved in 2016 and 2017.
Although the costs will not be finalized until audited statements are submitted, the total provincial costs involved over the five years are capped at $14 million. The government’s net cost, after receiving $6 million in advertising rebates, estimated at up to approximately $8 million.
Newspaper stewardship plan timeline:
- 2014: Negotiations between the provincial government, Multi-Material BC (now Recycle BC) and the newspaper industry commence.
- March 2016: Provincial government approves $5 million in one-year bridge funding to Multi-Material BC (now Recycle BC) to facilitate start of expanded service while agreements with Recycle BC and newspapers are finalized.
- March 2017: Provincial government approves up to an additional $9 million to Recycle BC in support of a five-year agreement, to be partially offset by $6 million in contributions from the newspaper sector. Total contributions to Recycle BC are capped at $14 million, and total net provincial costs are estimated at up to $8 million after newspaper contributions.
- November 2017: Final newspaper stewardship plan approved.
- January 2018: All waitlisted communities targeted will receive recycling service or funding offers from Recycle BC.
- At the end of the five-year agreements, the newspaper sector is to be fully compliant with its own plan and without the need for provincial assistance.