Monday, August 17, 2009

Sour Milk Containers = Plastic Tory Trojans

With some fanfare (More jobs! More trucking! More processing!), Alberta recently upped the deposit on milk containers to 10 cents for containers under 1 litre and 25 cents for everything larger.

“This is an exciting move for Alberta,” said Ross Risvold, Chair of the Beverage Container Management Board in an Alberta government news release.

Diana McQueen, MLA for Drayton Valley-Calmar and former member of the Premier’s Task Force on Crystal Meth, breathlessly chimed in on the same release, “We’re always looking for ways to protect our environment by reducing waste.”

Too good to be true, thinks the Alberta Report. There’s gotta be a downside, right?

Well, here it is: a tiny fraction of your milk carton deposits go to fuel the Tory war machine. Yup. Some of your hard earned dough spent on milk for the kids may go to help Stelmach and Co. get reelected.

Deposits for recyclables are collected by the Alberta Beverage Container Recycling Corporation (ABCRC), a provincially incorporated not-for-profit. This body collects the fees and pays out the depots, who in turn pay you, dear consumer.

ABCRC has donated some $5,275 of your money to the Alberta Conservatives since 2005. Go ahead, check it out - $750 in 2005, $2,125 in 2006, $2,400 in 2007 – nothing to the other parties.

So, why has the ABCRA donated over $5,000 of your deposits to the Alberta Tories since 2005?

Well, it’s good for business, that’s why. Not everything gets recycled. About 30% of everything you pay a deposit on ends up in the landfill.

The difference between the deposits collected and what’s paid out is in the millions, and likely to get bigger with the milk container deposit.

There are supposed to checks and balances in the system, right?

We’re still scratching our heads on that one here in the Alberta Report bunker. Under federal tax law, ABCRC ain’t allowed to “support a particular political party.”

Maybe it’s because ABCRC’s oversight body, the Beverage Container Management Board, is headed by the President of the West Yellowhead Progressive Conservative Association, one Mr. Ross Risvold?

Na, couldn’t be that. There couldn’t be partisan appointees in a body set up to do some good. Not in Alberta, for the love of Pete!

Remember, it’s all about recycling, y’know. Doin’ some good, savin’ the planet.


4 Responses to "Sour Milk Containers = Plastic Tory Trojans"
  1. Stu from Calgary said...
    August 17, 2009 at 12:49:00 p.m. MDT

    This is for real? Why hasn't this been reported!!

  2. Art said...
    August 17, 2009 at 3:48:00 p.m. MDT

    Excellent research guys. Once again, the blogs do the research the media can't be bothered with.

  3. Alberta Report Editorial Collective said...
    August 18, 2009 at 9:35:00 a.m. MDT

    Thanks Art, my heart just grew three sizes. You can now just about see it under an ordinary microscope.

  4. Nick said...
    August 18, 2009 at 12:09:00 p.m. MDT

    Great Research. Not Surprised - just follow the money.

    Under this program Albertans pay many millions of dollars per year and the money primarily flows to the bottle depot operators who get paid 10¢ to 12¢ for every milk container they accept over the counter.

    The 2008 bottle depot recovery rate was 51% for gable-top containers and 65% for plastic jugs (over 1 litre size).

    Edmonton has convenient curbside recycling with a recovery rate over 90%. Calgary, Red Deer and St Albert also have curbside recycling.

    Why are we paying millions of extra dollars per year to decrease the recovery rate ??

    One answer - The beverage container system has been rewarded for their loyalty.

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