Mayor John Harwood has asked District of Clearwater staff to review reports that municipalities could be fined up to $5,000 per load if they fail to meet contamination limits under a new recycling program.
According to a report in the Prince George Free Press, town council in that city has already declined to take part in a curbside recycling program put together by Multi-Material BC.
Under the program, there would be a $5,000 penalty if the contamination in a load is above a three per cent contamination level.
Research done by Prince George councillors found that cities that have a similar recycling program in place are averaging between five and seven per cent contamination levels per load.
Assuming Prince George would have would have about 15 loads of the material per week, that would add up to about $2 million in fines per year for the city.
According to the Free Press, the government changed recycling regulations in 2004, adding packaging and printed paper to products to be recycled and making it the responsibility of producers to pay.
Multi-Material B.C., a group of producers, was created and put in charge of setting up a province-wide program to retrieve the product. They, in turn, are giving municipalities the first shot at creating or maintaining a program, along with a set of incentives to help make necessary changes.