02/04/2014 04:56 EST | Updated 04/06/2014 05:59 EDT

New recycling rules for small B.C. businesses as costs shift from consumers

VANCOUVER - The B.C. government says many small businesses won't be required to pay for recycling under new regulations that shift costs to industry.

An exemption will apply to businesses that either earn less than $1 million a year, produce less than one tonne of printed paper and packaging annually, or have a retail operation that isn't part of a franchise or chain.

Businesses that produce between one and two and a half tonnes of printed paper and packaging will be charged a flat fee of $550 a year.

Companies that produce between two and a half tonnes to five tonnes of the same recyclable material will pay $1,200 a year.

The government says fewer than 3,000 of the province's 385,000 businesses will be charged for recycling under the new program, which take effect May 19.

Environment Minister Mary Polak says the rules make sense for small businesses while helping the environmental.