The Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako’s (RDBN) cardboard ban at the Knockholt landfill has the regional district looking for alternatives to dispose off the cardboard waste.
In June, the RDBN announced that they would be reinstating the ban on industrial, commercial and institutional cardboard at the Knockholt Landfill starting August 1, 2020. However, this ban would mean that the businesses and institutions that have been using the landfill to get rid of their cardboard waste, would need an alternative solution.
The RDBN, in the same meeting, decided to put together a Cardboard Processing Working Group that would involve stakeholders who are looking for cardboard processing solutions, along with the RDBN staff and elected officials. A motion to develop a pilot project with a goal of recycling 50 per cent of residential and ICI (Industrial Commercial Institutional) cardboard in three years was also carried.
The July 16 meeting for the RDBN will feature cardboard as one of the main topics on the agenda with the staff presenting data and information about current cardboard amounts being deposited at the landfill, the recycling needs of the businesses, total cardboard volumes, etc.
Mark Fisher, the area A director for the RDBN said that a press release would soon be coming out around what is being done with respect to the ICI cardboard processing.
“The RDBN’s Environmental Services summer student has been trying to understand and survey the businesses and their needs around the ICI cardboard recycling,” he said adding, “It is a big issue but the reinstatement of the cardboard ban was necessary to protect the landfill.”
Fisher also said that through the survey the staff is finding out that there are a few local organizations who are interested in processing the ICI cardboard locally.
“There have been business who have expressed interest in taking the ICI cardboard on, as a business. That’s the preferred approach. We have also been working with some organizations that are interested in processing cardboard locally,” said Fisher adding that in his opinion, that was the best solution if it works out as it will save baling and shipping costs for whoever takes responsibility of the cardboard — be it the RDBN or the businesses.
He also said that the cardboard issue was very important for the RDBN and they would support the local processing initiatives as much as possible, next would be to help the businesses find business case to take on cardboard and finally through advocacy, through information and getting the government to include ICI cardboard in the provincial program just like the residential waste.
“The problem is always that it is not included in the provincial programs like residential material and that is really the only way we will have a long term solution — having it set up in a such a way that the businesses will be able to deal with the cardboard just as residential,” said Fisher.