B.C. battery recycling situation update

The Canadian Association of Recycling Industries (CARI) reports that on Monday October 27, about 25 people met for the B.C. Chapter meeting. Mr. Colin McKean, Director, B.C. Battery Recycling Association and Mr. John Clinging, President, Antrim Battery, spoke on the battery recycling situation in B.C.

The B.C. battery-recycling program, initiated by the provincial government in 1990, became a product stewardship program in 1996. It’s presently attempting to privatize the program under the four fundamental principles of: producer/user responsibility; a level playing field; results based; and transparency/accountability.

Although it was suggested that the number of batteries could be as high as one million, an estimate of 800,000 batteries per year was used, at a rate of $5 per battery, to reveal a $4-million income from the program. Only about one quarter of the total goes to the recycling program. Most of that is used for the TIP program to subsidize the transportation of batteries from remote regions. Since it was generally agreed that the government would not give up the income generated through the existing program, a fee increase is expected in order to manage a new privatized program. Currently two different stewardship agencies are developing program: one is exclusive to manufacturers and brand owners and the second is open to all participants in the recycling process. Issues of governance, funding and administration where also identified.

CARI President, Howard Sherman, addressed the group and committed that CARI national would work with the B.C. Chapter as they determined necessary on this issue. He pointed out that CARI was the voice of recycling in Canada and that this issue just emphasizes the need for a national industry association. Executive Director Len Shaw informed attendees of numerous regional issues that CARI had addressed over the last year and with which it is currently involved. He pointed out the CARI was not just a central Canadian organization. Manager Donna Turner reminded members that the 2004 annual convention will take place in Victoria from June 5 to 7.

For more information, please contact Donna Turner at 905-426-9313 or donna.turner-cari@on.aibn.com