An RDCO director wants an environmental emergency declared

Are we really recycling?

Regional district director Wayne Carson wants to know if recyclable materials being collected across the Central Okanagan are actually going where they are supposed to.

Carson was reacting to a recent CBC expose that discovered many plastics and materials being left for recycling are being landfilled or shipped overseas.

He told the board there is a lot of talk around plastics and recycling, but not a lot of action.

He called the CBC report "fairly disturbing."

In response, Carson asked to be updated as to where local plastics are going, and also put forward a notice of motion to declare an "environmental emergency," in support of other local governments who have done the same.

That motion will be brought up at a future regional board meeting.

Staff countered his assertion, saying the RDCO has a strong relationship with Recycle BC, which is contracted to handle its recycling.

"We are very confident with how they are managing the materials," staff noted.

"It is getting recycled in B.C. We are in a unique situation, which you compare it to the rest of Canada and North America ... we have a strong local market. Material we are collecting is being recycled."

The issue came up as part of a brief discussion on a plastics action plan through Clean BC.

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