A coalition of B.C. businesses is asking the province to rethink new recycling regulations that are designed to shift responsibility for recycling from taxpayers to waste producers.

A new industry group called Multi-Materials B.C. (MMBC) representing major producers such as grocery stores and manufacturers is set to take over responsibility for recycling all printed paper products and packaging in May.

But the spokesman for the coalition opposed to the new program, Peter Kvarnstrom, says some business's livelihoods are at stake because the new system will mire them in red tape.

He says most British Columbians are likely unaware the province is about to undergo a seismic shift in the way it recycles.

"Why is British Columbia doing this? What problem are we trying to fix?" Kvarnstrom asked on Monday morning.

The provincial program aims to shift the financial burden for recycling from municipalities and taxpayers onto the companies who actually produce waste, the theory being that business will cut down on waste to cut costs.

But last November several municipalities also expressed concerns about the program, saying MMBC isn't offering them enough money to continuing collecting the recyclable goods at the curbside, and they need more time to consider the deal.

The coalition of businesses opposing the changes are made up of nine B.C. business organizations:

  • Newspapers Canada
  • Canadian Federation of Independent Business
  • B.C. Printing & Imaging Association
  • Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters
  • Waste Management Association of B.C.
  • B.C. Landscape & Nursery Association
  • B.C. Agriculture Council
  • B.C. Bottle Depot Association
  • B.C. & Yukon Community Newspapers Association