BC expanding recycling programs to include mattresses

Sep 10 2021, 3:16 pm

Despite what desperate Vancouverites on move-out day may think, there is no mattress fairy who comes to magically whisk away those mattresses abandoned in alleyways.

Luckily, the province announced that they’re going to expand the range of products that you’re able to recycle as part of their five-year plan to push recycling forward in BC.

That means you might have an easier time recycling your old mattress.

Expect to be able to recycle electric-vehicle batteries, mattresses, single-use fuel canisters, and fire extinguishers soon.

BC’s Recycling Regulation and the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) strategy will include lots of new electronic programs too, like solar panels, more types of lithium-ion batteries, electric-vehicle chargers, and e-cigarettes.

“Expanding the number of recyclable products will mean convenient, free collection of those products and a cleaner environment for British Columbians,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. 

“Adding to the product list will reduce the waste that’s now being sent to the landfill or illegally dumped in back alleys or green spaces. This will protect our environment and boost our economy through an increase in recycling operations and re-manufacturing.”

Leaders from around the province are excited about the EPR Five-Year Action Plan, which puts responsibility, and cost, onto producers for the lifecycle of their products rather than letting taxpayers carry the burden.

Sav Dhaliwal, the chair of the Metro Vancouver Board of Directors, said “our member jurisdictions spend more than $5 million each year cleaning up abandoned waste and picking up bulky items, with mattresses representing a significant portion of materials collected.”

Calvin Jameson, the president of the Indigenous Zero Waste Technical Advisory Group, fully supports the plan. “It will help with the problem of unauthorized disposal in back country locations,” he said.

You can find out more about the EPR Five-Year Action Plan and see how BC is working to support a circular economy, prevent waste, and reduce plastics pollution.

Sarah AndersonSarah Anderson

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