Why we haven’t yet registered for the recycling plan, and how we work hard every day to have a positive impact on the environment and our communities
KMS Tools is entirely in favour of recycling. We too, hope future generations will have a thriving planet to enjoy and take care of. KMS Tools happily recycles to the standards in each municipality we’re located in. This, however, is not the issue at hand. The issue we’re facing now is an additional set of impractical rules being imposed on a small percentage of businesses; and what we are fighting for is a feasible solution that has a positive and tangible impact. Most of us will agree that there is room for improvement in BC’s recycling program, and that a fair, attainable plan is needed to better our planet. The article you may have read, unfortunately misrepresents what actually happened and what was said. In a nutshell, KMS Tools owner, Stan Pridham, has asked many times how he can comply with the regulations that only 0.25% of BC businesses have found a way to adhere to, but the ministry has not provided these solutions as of yet. We are still very much in dialogue with the ministry and have no problem complying when a real practical solution can be found.
Above and Beyond
Not only does KMS Tools meet and exceed current standard recycling requirements, we go above and beyond to keep old tools out of the landfills. In 2009, Stan Pridham started the charity program, Tools for the World, which has repurposed hundreds of thousands of tools, saving them from being discarded. The tools are then put to good use overseas, and occasionally within Canada, when disaster strikes. These donated tools have gone to 50 countries and counting, in nearly every continent. They help rebuild communities after natural or man-made disasters, or are used to train young men and women in a trade who are phasing out of an orphanage, or learning to get on their feet. They build much needed infrastructure in developing countries, and provide a means for people to support their families. The program works by collecting unneeded tools in our communities, which are sorted and repaired by local volunteers. In the sorting and repairing process, any tools or parts that are not worth sending overseas are recycled locally. The tools that go to a new home offer much needed new hope to their recipients. After all, the second “R” of Reduce, Re-use, Recycle, is better than the third! (Read more about the Tools for the World program here)
We want to thank the many customers who have reached out during this time to support us. KMS Tools cannot exist without great customers like you. We also want to thank our great staff who have been fielding many questions on this topic. Finally, we would absolutely love to see an innovative and practical recycling program come to fruition in BC and across Canada. We hope that with your support, and our dialogue with the ministry, we can accomplish this, so we can experience the flourishing environment and communities we all long for.
This dispute is not about whether recycling is good or bad, worthwhile or not- we all agree it’s important. This is about regulation that doesn’t actually do anything new for the environment, and is impossible to comply with for businesses like KMS Tools. We recycle packaging and paper products at our branches and warehouses, and pay for its removal, and we go above and beyond to prolong the lives of tools, and other items.
No one from Tri-Cities Dispatch contacted Stan prior to publishing the article to give him an opportunity to present his side. Most of the information in the article was not accurately stated. Stan did reach out to the journalist after the article was published and provided his information. The journalist did add in a small amount of the provided information in a “response” section below the published article, however they refuse to follow their own journalistic standards (https://tricitiesdispatch.com/code-of-ethics-journalistic-standards/) and write an article to correct the misinformation.There is an opportunity here for a serious journalist to expose the truth about the program.
This all began in 2013, when KMS Tools received a letter from MMBC (now Recycle BC) threatening a $200,000 fine and/or shutting down the business if we did not comply with a new set of very ambiguous rules, and pay an unspecified, but presumably large amount in fees (exhibit A below). This was the first we had heard of the program. Stan has been questioning this program now for 10 years, contacting countless people from Recycle BC, the Ministry of Environment, Business Associations, MLAs, etc., to find out how he could possibly comply and how the impending program would better the environment. He has also questioned why others in the industry are not complying, as well as questioning why Recycle BC’s board members are not from BC (The Recycle BC board list of members) and why they, as a “non-profit”, show profits. Doing what is in the best interest of BC’s environment must be difficult from half a country away.
With only 0.25% of about 520,000 businesses in BC signed up for the additional regulations, none are similar to KMS Tools (Recycle BC Steward List). Tool retailers that have found a way to comply are huge national and international big box stores, and not our direct competitors such as Raider Hansen, BC Fasteners, Busy Bee, Summit, HNT, Grainger, Fastenal, Vallen, Adam’s Tarp and Tool, etc.
The Recycle BC program was designed for the food industry, not industrial suppliers of tools and equipment, selling to tradespeople and industries, like we do. This is why most of the stewards and board members are from the food industry, where the rules are easier to apply. (exhibit B below)
KMS Tools is in a different position than retailers because the packaging on our products, and the paper advertising we produce largely ends up in industrial zones, where waste and recycling are managed privately, and should not be charged fees as per the Recycle BC Program.
Many times Stan has offered to work with the ministry to come up with a viable solution, but they have shown no interest. He is still in dialogue with the ministry and would have no problem complying if or when a real practical solution can be found.
The previous government introduced this program and the current government railed against it for all the right reasons, yet they haven’t changed it.
“The slogan for MMBC should probably be ‘recycle once, but pay twice’,” as NDP small business critic Lana Popham said in a 2014 article (exhibit C below), as the taxes that residents pay for recycling would not be and have not been reduced.
We do not want to have to charge our customers an additional recycling fee, and additional fees will not increase the amount of products that are recycled.
So what is it we can’t comply with?
When the program was introduced 10 years ago, it took a month or two to determine what they were asking of us. What they have told us when we’ve inquired, is that in order to accomplish what they are requiring, we would have to find additional warehouse space, hire dozens more people, take one of each of the 20,000+ items we carry, unpack it, weigh each type of packaging separately (some products come with as many as 15+ types of materials to secure it, which we have no control over), design a software program to keep track of the weights that communicates with our point of sale software, and ask each customer where they will dispose of the packaging for each item in order to determine if packaging will end up in industrial or residential waste streams. This process would need to continue with each new item or package change going forward. We’d then have to deal with the thousands of open-box products, including machinery, welders, etc. We would also have to ask each customer where they will dispose of flyers or business cards when we hand them out at trade shows, or mail them to their businesses or homes, keep track of that information and submit fees accordingly. A medium sized business simply cannot stay alive with these added burdens. Coming to this realization, not being able to pay the fines, and being threatened with imprisonment, Stan said “I’ll be going to jail.”
So how are the big box stores doing it? The ministry will not tell us. There’s a good chance they’re just paying the fees, which they can absorb into their massive operating costs, because most of their packaging would go to the residential waste stream. We don’t know how their fees are calculated, and it’s possible they have negotiated a special agreement.
The dozens of people in the ministry, Recycle BC, their parent company, and the politicians we’ve been in contact with, have not told us or shown us how we could comply. The program was not designed for businesses like ours. We haven’t refused to comply- it is impossible to comply. They have fined us for not doing something that is impossible to do. 99.75% of BC businesses are not participating, including most of our direct competitors. Not only is this process entirely absurd, but it also will not change the amount of recycling that currently happens in BC.
KMS Tools is committed to reducing waste, and goes above and beyond to provide practical solutions that benefit our environment. Let’s be honest- we’re a bunch of hands-on tinkerers that can’t stand the thought of throwing out perfectly good stuff!
Our service shop repairs tools every day that would otherwise be tossed.
As part of our 5 Star Advantage Plan, we offer a convenient trade-in value for used tools or machines. The plan also provides an extra year warranty on a huge selection of tools and machines. Both of these plans prolong the life of the tools, reducing waste.
Our distribution warehouses reuse shipping boxes and all the pallets that we can, repairing them as required to prolong their lifespans. Several months ago Recycle BC canceled their pallet recycling program in the Lower Mainland.
We reuse and repurpose all kinds of display units, shelving, furnishings, and more, sometimes at the cost of a less-polished display.
We encourage our customers to subscribe to our e-flyer, and we limit our monthly flyer mail-outs to those who have subscribed, plus a few times a year we distribute them in local newspapers in select areas where our blue collar target market lives and works.
With our Custom And Restoration (C.A.R.) Parts division, we are also dedicated to keeping old cars that still have life from being scrapped, supplying the tools and parts to restore them, sometimes with more efficient modern engines.
Most KMS Tools locations have been upgraded to use the latest state of the art efficient lighting, heating systems, and the highest standard of AC, to minimize the impact on the planet.
Our offices have gone almost completely paper-free.
KMS Tools adheres to all city and provincial recycling programs, and goes beyond the norm.
KMS Tools is an industrial supplier of tools and equipment selling primarily to tradespeople and industry.
You Could Win the Value of Your February Welder Purchase! 3 Prizes to be Won! February is a great month to buy a welder! You could win the value of your February welder purchase up to $2500! 3 prizes will be won! Enter in February, 2023 for your chance to win by purchasing either a Miller welder, an ESAB welder or a Lincoln Electric welder. Purchase at any of our 14 KMS Tools locations or from kmstools.com. As soon as you buy a qualifying welder you are automatically entered, your invoice is your entry ballot. Shop all eligible welders.
Milwaukee Days are on this weekend at KMS Tools Kamloops on Friday, August 26 and KMS Tools Kelowna on Saturday, August 27! 1 day only at each store! Check out the 1 day promotions! Come check out the new MX Fuel, and get your hands on Milwaukee’s must-haves. Reps will be on site to tell you what’s new, answer your every Milwaukee question, and dish out some hot deals…like BOGO on MX FUEL, Free up to $5,000 value! 40% off regular price on popular Milwaukee reciprocating saw blades & sets and on Hole Saw Kits and individual hole saws! Buy $100 off any Milwaukee safety gear and accessories & receive a FREE PACKOUT MILW-48228435. The sale is only available in store at KMS Tools Kamloops and KMS Tools Kelowna during the Milwaukee event date and hours. See in store for additional details and for more 1 day promotions. 1 day only! Don’t miss out!
Great news!! We’ve had more Tools for the World donations over the last couple years than we’ve been able to distribute overseas!
In order to reduce the backlog of donated tools, some of them will be up for sale at our KMS Garage Sales, Aug 18-20, and 110% of the proceeds from these tools will help other tools reach the countries that need them most!