Between a rot and a hard place

This week's editorial looks at the Multi-Material BC roll-out.

The roll-out of the Multi-Material BC recycling program may one day be used as a clinic in how not to start up a new “public-private partnership” in B.C.

Or anywhere else.

In theory, it seems a great idea. Remove recyclables from the solid-waste stream, helping the environment while saving landfill costs. Do this all while charging producers of recyclable packaging for the costs, further helping the environment by, ostensibly, fostering reductions and improvements in packaging materials.

Alas, the “partners” in this case — the provincial government, the industry coalition that makes up MMBC, and local regional and municipal governments — are getting hammered from two fronts in response.

Consumers on the North Island want to know how they’re going to keep bears and other pests out of their trash for the two weeks between pick-up days, and worry bush dumping will explode as a result.

Meanwhile, a coalition of B.C. newspaper groups and other businesses are attacking the MMBC plan as unfair and punitive to their industries, and demanding the provincial government overturn the arrangement.

Regrettably, both groups have some valid concerns.