In Montreal, thousands of tons of glass in the dump, lack of recycling
The Lachine Sorting Center receives approximately 90,000 tonnes of recyclable materials per year. About 13% of this material is glass, or 11,700 tonnes.
Three years after the inauguration of the Lachine Sorting Center in West Montreal, the machinery to improve glass recycling no longer works. The equipment has been down for several months due to mechanical failures, and this is not the first time that it has failed.
According to our information, the system worth 2.5 million dollars offered by Éco Entreprise Québec has only worked for about a year so far and thousands of tons of glass recovered by Montrealers were sent to the landfill.
When the Lachine sorting center was inaugurated, the City of Montreal had great hopes in the equipment at the cutting edge of technology given to it by Éco Entreprise Québec to improve the quality of glass sorting and to find new outlets for recycling it.
At the time, the mayor of Montreal, Valérie Plante, said that with such equipment, the City would value the glass more because the cleaning system would be more efficient. Ideally, what we want is that this glass, we can reuse it in bottles, said the first magistrate.
Some even believed that & #x27;it could produce glass of sufficient purity to supply the Owens-Illinois foundry in Montreal.
However, three years later, the system no longer works due to mechanical failure. Via company CEO Jean-Sébastien Daigle, who now manages the Sorting Center, says the equipment hasn't been functional since October: stop; […] there are repairs to be made because there are things that have been broken on the equipment.
However, he is optimistic that the system will soon be repaired and returned to service. We are waiting for certain parts, […] there are long delivery times. All the parts should arrive during the month of May, so we are aiming for a start in June, specifies Mr. Daigle.
A source who wishes to keep the; anonymity confirms that the machine has often been stopped. It often needs to be repaired. It requires a lot of maintenance, says this person.
The Director of Residual Materials Management at the City of Montreal's Environmental Department, Arnaud Budka, is well aware of the situation: The machine had a lot of operating problems, and there, now, we are facing the challenges. supply. […] It's really a question of the availability of parts and the efficiency of the technology.
He adds that we are in a situation where we do not have been able to fully enjoy this equipment because it broke, because there were performance issues and it is new equipment.
Mr. Budka recalls that the system was offered to the City of Montreal and the Lachine Sorting Center as part of a pilot project of Éco Entreprise Québec's Verre l'innovation plan. keep in mind that there are pilot [projects] that are successful and others that are not successful, he says.
However, the City of Montreal asserts that the quality of sorting of the glass produced by the system is good. A source says for his part that even when the machine was working properly, the glass was sent to the landfill, where it was used as covering material, which was confirmed to us by a spokesperson for the City of Montreal.
The quality of the glass produced was good. However, Ricova mentioned being unable to send the glass for recycling, although tests have been carried out. The glass has therefore been recovered at the landfill site for uses such as daily covering or the construction of traffic lanes, mentioned this spokesperson.
Since the inauguration of the Lachine Sorting Center, the City of Montreal had to send thousands of tons of glass recovered by Montrealers to the landfill.
“We installed and used the glass processing system equipment as soon as we took possession of the Lachine Sorting Center. The sorted glass was always recovered throughout the entire contract. In the fall of 2022, we were in a good position to conclude an agreement with a Quebec recycler interested in acquiring our glass. »
— Laurence Tôth, Director of Communications, Public and Government Affairs, Ricova
However, since last November, the new manager of the Sorting Center, Via, has been sending it to Bellemare, a Mauricie company that uses it for sandblasting or for water filtration. of swimming pool. The Director of Residual Materials Management at the City of Montreal's Environment Department admits that the city must pay more to avoid landfilling. It costs us more, that's for sure. But it allows us to have a glass that is decontaminated on site. This is what the non-functional sorting equipment was supposed to do, he said.
The Lachine Sorting Center receives approximately 90,000 tonnes of materials recyclable per year. About 13% of this material is glass, or 11,700 tons.
At the Saint-Michel sorting center, the manager continues to send the recovered glass to the x27; burial. Each year, 90,000 to 100,000 tonnes of recyclable materials are sent there, 20% of which is glass. Each year, therefore, approximately 20,000 tonnes of glass are sent to landfill sites.