StewardEdge edges into BC multi-rez

Image Credit: Black Press File Photo
Image Credit: Black Press File Photo

I try to never forget I’m editing a magazine on solid waste and recycling issues for the whole of Canada (and have sometimes taken flack for being too focused on Ontario, because I live there) but I have to say it’s difficult to write about anything these days other than what’s happening in British Columbia.

Multi-Material BC (MMBC) recently started a program in which producers pay the end-of-life management costs for products and packaging in the province. This is a first for North America, and reminds me a bit of BC being the first to introduce mandatory deposits on used beverage containers in 1970. As with that piece of legislation, the experiment in BC represents a paradigm shift that I’m sure will spread. At the same time, we have the largest municipality in the province trying to build an incinerator, and Metro Vancouver is hijacking the term “Zero Waste” for its own purposes.

A very recent unusual development came at the end of May with the news that an entity called StewardChoice Enterprises Inc. headed by the well-known Neil Hastie will introduce a new recycling plan for British Columbia this summer targeting multi-residential waste materials. StewardChoice Enterprises Inc. is a subsidiary of Reclay StewardEdge — a consultancy often affiliated with promoting the “shared cost” model of municipal recycling. It may be that StewardEdge is moving with the times and sees opportunity west of the mountains in embracing the inevitable trend (at least there) toward extended producer responsibility.

Reclay StewardEdge at one time tried to get into Ontario by submitting an ISP to Waste Diversion Ontario on behalf of CBCRA. I felt at the time the proposal never went anywhere because the beverage industry realized its containers consumed “away-from-home” aren’t legislated, so why would they support such a plan, when ultimately they will have to pay out of pocket (given that there are no new fees).

Perhaps the new development should come as no surprise. CBCRA relies on Reclay Steward Edge to advise them and want a cut of the CSSA market. It’s a tough challenge given that they’re competing with CSSA directly (given that CSSA internalized all their program implementation). It’ll be fascinating to see how it all plays out.

Here’s the StewardChoice Enterprises Inc. news release:

A New Proposed Recycling Plan to Surface in British Columbia

BURNABY, B.C., May 28 /CSRwire/ – StewardChoice Enterprises Inc. announced today that it will publish a draft stewardship plan for packaging and printed paper in June which will undergo public consultations over the course of the summer. Once the plan is approved, the new recycling service will commence as early as next year initially in multi-family residential buildings.

“We see this as an opportunity to provide producers with more choice while offering cost-effective solutions,” says Neil Hastie, Development Director and spokesperson for StewardChoice Enterprises Inc. “We strongly believe that producers should have the ability to choose a preferred service when determining how to meet their regulatory obligations.”

Under the British Columbia Recycling Regulation, companies must recover at least 75% of their packaging and printed paper generated through households. Today, more than 20% of multi-family buildings in BC do not receive a producer funded recycling service.

“We have two priorities at StewardChoice. One is to provide solutions for producers to achieve their environmental goals in compliance with the Recycling Regulation and the other,” says Hastie, “is to offer a plan that will increase collection of packaging and printed paper waste generated in BC beginning with areas like multi-family buildings that are currently not receiving any producer funded recycling services.”

Once the public consultations are complete, the plan will be submitted for approval to the BC Ministry of Environment.

StewardChoice Enterprises Inc. is a subsidiary of Reclay StewardEdge, a North American leader providing packaging stewardship solutions to consumer product goods organizations. StewardChoice is based and managed in the province of BC. Further information can be found at

Reclay StewardEdge (RSE) is a leading Canadian-based international stewardship organization that has extensive experience and expertise in sustainability, related to end-of-life management of packaging and products. RSE has provided stewardship solutions to numerous producers across Canada and in 2012, StewardEdge became a part of the Reclay Group enabling them to offer a broader suite of services internationally.

For more information, please contact:

Neil Hastie Development Director
StewardChoice Enterprises Inc.
Phone: 604-360-8870

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