Newsletter of the Canadian Association of Recycling Industries
Volume 17, No. 4, April 2012
President’s Message | B.C. Chapter Meeting | Switch Out | Fast Facts
CARI is often asked to identify the biggest issues currently facing our industry. The list of subjects varies from month to month, but one item always makes the cut: metal theft. We’ve been fighting this issue for years, and we know it isn’t likely to go away.
Yet now that metal theft has come to the attention of the general publicand to the attention of lawmakers and politiciansour battle has become much more complicated. Our industry suffers more metal theft than any other. But because stolen metal is generally sold for its scrap value, those with little understanding of our industry tend to see us as collaborators, not victims. More and more municipalities and provinces are putting together legislation and regulations to “stop” metal theft. And the responsibility is being placed squarely on our shoulders.
British Columbia’s Metal Dealers and Recyclers Act was passed last November, and the Ministry of Justice is currently drawing up the regulations. CARI worked with the B.C. Ministry of Justice to minimize the impact of this legislation on our industry. We think we have succeeded in reducing the number of restricted materials and eliminating reporting requirements for industrial and dealer-to-dealer transactions. The regulations should now essentially apply only to peddler trade. However, anyone buying non-ferrous metals will have to register with the province, and will have to maintain records for any transaction involving regulated metals for a minimum of one year. Recyclers are also prohibited from accepting regulated metal from a seller who can or will not provide the required information.
Last year, Nova Scotia’s Safe Collection of Scrap Metals Act became the first provincial legislation regulating the purchase of scrap metal. CARI met with the Minister of Justice, Ministry staff, and a senior advisor to the Premier and encouraged them to lessen the burden placed on recyclers. They have agreed to evaluate the amount of theft and the law’s success within a couple of years. Although Nova Scotia has not yet begun setting its regulations, CARI expects it will soon do so.
These two provinces are not alone. Many municipalities across the country have enacted by-laws regarding metal theft, and a private member’s bill regarding scrap metal has been proposed in the province of Alberta.
This type of regulatory control has become the standard solution to metal theft, but it will not work and CARI has repeatedly told the lawmakers so. Unfortunately, like metal theft, regulatory control isn’t likely to go away. CARI will continue to represent industry’s perspective to the policymakers in these cases. We hope by educating legislators about our industry, we can persuade them to target the thieves and not recyclers.
Bertrand Van Dorpe
B.C. CHAPTER MEETING
CARI’s B.C. Chapter held its spring meeting on March 22 at the Richmond Casino. The agenda was full and the meeting well attended. Invited guests Kjerstine Holmes and Fraser Marshall of the Ministry of Justice spoke to members about B.C.’s new Metal Dealers and Recyclers Act, and members took the opportunity to voice their concerns. Reid Hudson and Manny Cheung of Product Care discussed the new Outdoor Power Equipment stewardship program (OPEI) and their collaborative effort to have CARI designated as the collection network for this material. Executive Director Len Shaw gave an update on the issues CARI is currently tackling.
An election was held to fill to open positions within the chapter. Reid Hudson was elected Vice-president and John Rai was elected treasurer. Chapter President Brad Rudover wrapped the meeting by announcing the chapter’s 2012 Kwantlen Polytechnic University Scholarship was awarded to Derek Bowes of the Millwright Program, and by noting that the chapter’s golf tournament is set for July 18, 2012 at the Richmond Country Club.
The April collection sweep is now underway. Participating members should have received a pre-paid waybill and replacement collection pail late last month. Please return all of your collected convenience lighting or ABS assemblieseven if you have only a single switchby April 30.
Companies must demonstrate they are collecting mercury switches to remain compliant with the CSPA’s zero mercury scrap purchasing policy. Failure to return your pail could jeopardize your good standing with the program. If you are registered with Switch Out but do not currently have a switch to return, please contact Caroline Sturk at csturk [at] summerhillgroup.ca or (416) 922/2448 x286.
- The government of Saskatchewan’s “Go Green” fund has allotted a $1.5 million grant for provincial recycling organizations. The Saskatchewan Association of Rehabilitation Centres will receive $786,000 to support cardboard and paper recycling operations and the Association of Regional Waste Management Authorities of Saskatchewan will get $316,000 toward regional recycling operations. An additional $398,000 will go to the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association to support municipal recycling operations that are not already getting money through the two other programs. The Ministry of the Environment also announced its plan to implement a “stewardship-based province-wide Multi-Material Recycling Program” in the near future.
- The BIR is surveying member companies regarding the theft of recyclable commodities from containers shipped overseas. According to a recent news release, this type of theft is increasing, particularly in the southern part of China. BIR members report high-value material such as high-grade copper scrap is being targeted, leading them to believe “there is complicity among the few people who are aware of the contents of the containers.” Many members have begun using heavy duty locks and seals to prevent the doors of containers from being removed. The BIR has contacted ICC’s Commercial Crime Services and its International Maritime Bureau, and if it receives sufficient responses to its survey, further actions will be taken at the ICC level with other authorities.
- Each year in Quebec more than 400 million refundable bottles and cans are disposed as waste and not recycled, according to a recent report by Boissons Gazeuses Environment. The province has had a deposit-refund system for beverage containers in place since 1984, which means the amount of containers sent to landfill costs Quebeckers about $20 million each year. The report says about 67% of all beverage containers in Quebec are being recycled.
- ISRI recently launched a new website focussed on the electronics recycling industry: www.eScrapBeat.com. The site is intended to be an interactive resource for consumers, industry experts, media, and the public to read about and discuss the e-scrap recycling industry. One of the site’s features is the E-Scrap Beat blog written by industry experts, which will examine topics like new innovations and technologies in the industry, success stories from responsible electronics recyclers around the world, the economics of e-scrap recycling, ISRI’s Design for Recycling program, third-party certifications, and what landfill bans mean for old electronics.
- EPR Canada has created a report card to evaluate the many EPR programs across the country. The organization has mailed questionnaires to each provincial environment minister, asking for “specific information on their policies and programs to support extended producer responsibility.” A panel of experts will review each government’s response and score their performance. These report cards will be made public in June and posted on the website www.eprcanada.ca. The project is funded by the EPR Canada’s members, whose goal is to help ensure the continued growth and improvement of Canadian EPR programs.