The Government of Saskatchewan is moving forward with implementation of a province-wide Multi-Material Recycling Program (MMRP) that will launch in early 2015.
MMRP is a cost-sharing program between businesses and municipalities to help pay for the collection and recycling of household packaging and paper materials. Currently, municipal recycling programs are paid for by municipalities. Under MMRP, businesses and organizations that distribute packaged goods and paper to households in the province will now share responsibility for the cost of recycling these materials.
“Our government is committed to seeing effective and sustainable municipal recycling programs for the residents of Saskatchewan,” Environment Minister Scott Moe said. “After careful consideration of feedback from various stakeholders over the past number of months, we are adjusting the program to provide more clarity on how it will apply to various types of businesses.”
Businesses that distribute or sell packaging and paper products in Saskatchewan are required under The Household Packaging and Paper Stewardship Program Regulations to participate in MMRP. The program will be operated by Multi-Material Stewardship Western (MMSW), a non-profit organization.
In July of this year, the Minister announced that the deadline for stewards to register with MMSW was being extended indefinitely. At that time, a commitment was made that further engagement and feedback from all stakeholders would be sought on the best way to move forward with MMRP.
As a result of consultation, adjustments have been made to the program and will be finalized in the new year. The proposed changes include the following:
- Small businesses, including newspapers, that have a gross revenue of less than $2 million, or generate less than one tonne of packaging and paper, or operate as a single point of sale (not a franchise or chain) are fully exempt from participating in MMRP.
- A two year temporary transition exemption will be in place for businesses whose annual revenue is between $2 and $5 million. These businesses will not be required to report their tonnage of household packaging and paper during this period, but will be required to register with MMSW and contribute a $500 annual flat fee.
- The two year transition exemption will also apply to all larger newspapers (all those not captured within the small business exemption).
- During the two-year transitional period, a working group with representatives from municipalities, businesses, newspapers, and the waste reduction community will be supported by the Ministry of Environment, with an aim to identify further program adjustments that would bring mid-size businesses and larger newspapers into the MMRP.
- During the two year transitional period, program fees will be set by the Minister of Environment and any changes to fees will be approved by the Minister.
- The Ministry of Environment will reallocate $500,000 to help municipalities cover the costs of recycling over the two-year transition period.
Businesses that do not fall into any of these categories are required to participate fully in MMRP.
“We clearly heard that the costs and reporting requirements associated with MMRP could prove challenging for many within the small business community and the newspaper industry,” Moe said. “By exempting small businesses from the program, and allowing a transition period for mid-size businesses to come into compliance, we can continue working with all stakeholders toward a made-in-Saskatchewan solution that will assist municipalities with the cost of recycling and ultimately reduce waste.”
To learn more about MMRP, visit www.saskatchewan.ca/recycling.
For more information, contact: