Consumers can’t recoup their recycling fees no matter how hard they try, making those fees just another tax, says letter writer. (News Bulletin file photo)

Consumers can’t recoup their recycling fees no matter how hard they try, making those fees just another tax, says letter writer. (News Bulletin file photo)

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Recycling math doesn’t add up

Recycling fees can’t realistically be recouped by consumers, says letter writer

To the editor,

On a recent trip to the grocery store, I was astounded to discover that milk had a container deposit imposed on it and a recycling fee likewise imposed. Each of these fees was added to my $2.75 price for one litre of milk.

In the case of the deposit, it was 10 cents; in the case of the container recycling fee, it was six cents. So, it would appear that upon purchase, milk has gone up 5.8 per cent. However, the 10-cent container fee can be returned if one drives to the recycling centre and returns the container, thus reducing the inflation of milk to a mere 2.2 per cent.

Now, let us look at this situation with a larger degree of scrutiny. In an effort to save the world, we recycle. For the last many years, my family has diligently placed our empty milk containers in the blue bin to be recycled. Now, for some reason, we must store our empty milk containers and eventually return them to the recycle store for a refund.

In my latest foray under this regime, I got $1.80 for returning 18 containers. Now, the drive to and from the recycle centre is about 10 kilometres each way and thus costs about one litre of fuel each way. Nowadays, the cost of a litre of fuel is just shy of $2. So, to recycle my 18 empty milk containers had a net cost to me, the ‘new saviour of recycling’ of $4 minus $1.80, which equals $2.20. It cost me money to be a recycler. And, no matter how diligently I may recycle, it will also cost me more to purchase my milk. At minimum, on my purchase of 18 litres of milk, my recycling fee was $1.08 and this cost is not returned.

So, your current effort to recycle more effectively has inflated the cost of milk, made a devoted effort to force British Columbians to drive more to recycle, and has contributed to global warming as a result.

So, let’s try and be a little more honest with the electorate. This is a tax. Put simply, if no one returns these containers and just chucks them in the recycle bin, they’ve recycled and you have a windfall and milk has gone up 5.8 per cent. Yep, it’s a tax and only a politician could argue otherwise.

J.R. Reid, Nanaimo

READ ALSO: Nanaimo feeling blue about too many non-recyclables going into the blue bins

The views and opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the writer and do not reflect the views of Black Press or the Nanaimo News Bulletin.

Letters policy: Letters should be no longer than 250 words and will be edited. Preference is given to letters expressing an opinion on issues of local relevance or responding to items published in the News Bulletin. Include your address (it won’t be published) and a first name or two initials, and a surname. Unsigned letters will not be published.

Mail: Letters, Nanaimo News Bulletin, 777 Poplar St., Nanaimo, B.C. V9S 2H7

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