Waste management will be enhanced in New Brunswick with the establishment of a new multi-material stewardship board, Environment Minister Roland Hach has announced.
Effective May 1, “Recycle New Brunswick” will be responsible for overseeing a new waste paint stewardship program, and will assume responsibility for the provincial Tire Stewardship Program, which the Tire Stewardship Board has overseen since 1996. The members of the Tire Stewardship Board will become the members of the new multi-stewardship board.
“Our province will be an even better place to live as a result of Recycle New Brunswick, which will reduce the amount of waste that ends up at regional landfills,” Hach said. “By improving waste management, this board will help our province achieve the goals of the New Brunswick Climate Change Action Plan, promote environmental sustainability, and remain poised to achieve self-sufficiency by 2026.”
“We believe comprehensive, province-wide recycling will prove vitally important for New Brunswick’s environment and our economy, as the future unfolds,” said board chairman Murray Driscoll. “We’re ready and most eager to start work on this exciting new challenge.”
Recycle New Brunswick will specifically oversee the management of waste paint that comes from paint brand owners. A brand owner is a person who either manufactures and sells paint in New Brunswick, is the owner or licensee of trademarks under which paint is sold in the province, or brings paint into the province for sale.
Brand owners will be required to register with Recycle New Brunswick, meet reuse rates with respect to waste paint, and submit paint stewardship plans to the board for approval. Such plans will have to include information on how the brand owner intends to collect and treat waste paint. Brand owners will be able to submit a joint plan through an industry-sponsored association, or submit individual plans to the board. The board will be able to approve paint stewardship plans for up to five years.
“Recycle New Brunswick will benefit not only brand owners of paint, but also taxpayers in our province,” Hach said. “The establishment of this board creates a level playing field for all brand owners, and relieves taxpayers of the responsibility of stewardship costs for certain products.”
Eventually, Recycle New Brunswick may oversee other industry-managed stewardship programs for waste products such as oil, electronic components, batteries, mercury-containing devices, and pharmaceuticals.
Waste reduction and diversion are a key part of the five-year New Brunswick Climate Change Action Plan. The Government of New Brunswick is working to improve waste management in the province through such means as better recycling and composting systems, further reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from landfills, reducing waste at its source, advocating recycled content in products and packaging, and promoting extended producer responsibility for products such as paint, oil and electronics.
Waste diversion expert Usman Valiante is impressed with the program design so far.
“This system doesn’t set up a self-interested industry combine like we’ve seen in programs in some other provinces,” Valiante says. “And since there’s no visible fee, producers can’t simply externalize their costs; instead, they’re incentivized to become more eco-efficient.”