MMSB hopes trust fund will grow

Andrew Robinson
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Increased use of curbside recycling a positive development

The Multi-Materials Stewardship Board (MMSB) in Newfoundland and Labrador hopes its trust fund grows as more people find ways to recycle beverage containers.

According to MMSB CEO Mike Samson, the Waste Management Trust Fund that supports work to implement provincial management strategy has dealt with declining surpluses.

“In fact, we’ve seen the retained surpluses here at MMSB have been declining over time, and of course in the context of the overall financial operation of the organization, the prime resources of revenue are deposits on beverage containers and levies on tires. Those deposits and levies have been static for a very long period of time.”

Since 2007, MMSB’s accumulated surplus has been used to spend almost $13 million on work to support the waste management strategy, with almost half that figure going directly to regional waste management authorities.

Financial figures for its most recent year-end have not been released. Based on annual reports published on the Department of Environment and Conservation website, 2007-08 was the last fiscal year MMSB experienced a full operating surplus. Its accumulated surplus of $9.4 million for 2012-13 represents half of the 2007-08 figure of $18.9 million.

The number of beverage containers collected and recycled in the province declined slightly for the 2013-14 fiscal year compared to the previous one — 162 million compared to 167 million containers in 2012-13.

According to Samson, approximately 260 million beverage containers were on the market for each of those years, resulting in a recovery rates of 62 and 64 per cent in 2013-14 and 2012-13 respectively. MMSB has a targeted recovery rate of 70 per cent, and Samson expects the province will get there as curbside collection becomes more commonplace.

“It’s now widely available in the eastern region.We’re expecting that it will within the next 12 months or so be widely available in the central region, and western region will come on after that, so we would think that will have a positive impact on beverage container recovery, but there’s not a straight cause-and-effect there,” noted Samson.

Twitter: @TeleAndrew

Organizations: Waste Management Trust Fund, Department of Environment and Conservation

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