Money for Saskatchewan's multi-material residential recycling program will start to flow in the first quarter of 2015, says a representative of the program's funding agency.
Multi-Material Stewardship Western (MMSW) is the non-profit organization that will provide funding for municipal recycling programs like the multiunit dwelling plan approved by Saskatoon city council Monday night after a contentious debate that divided councillors.
Karen Melnychuk, acting managing director of MMSW, said the program will "definitely" be ready, despite a tight schedule. The program is accepting online registrations from municipalities interested in taking part.
"We're launching the funding and the program on Jan. 1, 2015," Melnychuk said. "The biggest challenge is going to be getting everybody to report on time."
MMSW operates under provincial Ministry of the Environment guidelines to implement the Multi-Material Recycling Program (MMRP).
Who's going to pay for it?
The so-called "stewards," who will provide funding for the program, are defined as anyone who imports paper or recyclable packaging materials into the province. For example, a grocery store would have to report any recyclable material it brings into the province and pay a fee. Reporting would be mandatory and MMSW can perform an audit on companies that are believed to be withholding information.
OK, but who's really going to pay for it?
Melnychuk admitted businesses may choose to pass the recycling cost on to consumers, like they do with beverage containers. "That's up to the business owner to decide how that plays out," she said.
What will the funding cover? MMSW will pay 75 per cent of the net costs of a recycling program that is run "efficiently and effectively" by a municipality or its contractor - in the case of Saskatoon, the latter will be Cosmo Industries. The program will be reviewed after its first two years to determine if it's effective. What constitutes "efficiently and effectively" will be defined by the Jan. 1, 2015 deadline. For a city the size of Saskatoon, the costs are estimated at $124 per tonne; $93 per tonne (75 per cent) would be covered.
What material is included?
Paper includes newspapers, phone books and magazines. Waste packaging includes any container or packaging made of metal, plastic, glass or cardboard.
What's not included? Exempt items include beverage containers, bound books, empty oil containers, plastic cutlery, industrial and bulk packaging, toner cartridges, disposable cameras and CD/DVD cases. Exempt materials include wood, ceramic, rubber and leather.