Valérian Mazataud Archives Le Devoir Montrealers who use recycling bags, particularly in areas of Plateau-Mont-Royal, Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension and Verdun, will have to convert to blue bins.
January 18, 2024
Montreal expects to save more than $20 million per year with the reform of the management of recyclable materials, which will be the responsibility of packaging producers as of January 1, 2025. Following an agreement concluded between the City of Montreal and Éco Entreprises Québec (ÉEQ), Montrealers will be asked to abandon green bins and plastic bags for blue bins.
The agreement approved Wednesday morning by the executive committee of the City of Montreal provides that starting next year, ÉEQ, which brings together 2,300 members, will assume the entire cost of collection and transport of recyclable materials, whether containers, packaging or printed matter.
“This is a major turning point towards a paradigm shift in the recycling system, not only in Montreal, but throughout Quebec,” commented the person responsible for the environment and ecological transition on the board of directors, Marie-Andrée Mauger. . “We are going to move from a compensation system on the part of packaging producers to expanded responsibility. »
Thus, while until now, the City obtained compensation equivalent to 71% of recycling costs from packaging producers, the contribution from ÉEQ, the organization designated to manage selective collection throughout Quebec will cover all costs incurred. This means that the City of Montreal will be able to generate savings of at least $20 million per year starting January 1, 2025.
Goodbye, green bins and bags
ÉEQ will also be responsible for managing the recycling centers. Thus, the organization took responsibility, with GFL Matrec, for the construction work of the future sorting center for recyclable materials on the east of the island of Montreal. For its part, the City will close its Saint-Michel sorting center on September 30, 2024 and will have to develop a transition plan while awaiting the commissioning of the new sorting center on January 1, 2025.
The implementation of the new system will lead to certain changes in terms of collection tools to allow for standardization across Quebec. Thus, the 67-liter Montreal bin, gray in color with a green lid, will gradually be replaced by a blue bin. “The transition from the green bin to the blue bin will take place as the green bins reach the end of their life,” said Ms. Mauger. “So we certainly have another decade to see green in these bins. »
As for Montrealers who use recycling bags, particularly in areas of Plateau-Mont-Royal, Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension and Verdun, they will also have to convert to bins blue.
Reduce excess packaging
Quebec announced in 2020 a modernization of the selective collection system based on the principle of extended producer responsibility so that they are responsible for their products from the beginning to the end of the life cycle.< /p>
The new system sets recycling targets and imposes performance obligations, recalls Marie-Andrée Mauger. “This will provide incentives for eco-design upstream, so that we can easily see that the containers are recyclable and facilitate their local recovery,” says the elected official. “These are changes that bring a lot of hope and will help rebuild trust in the recycling system and improve participation. »
Ultimately, ÉEQ wants to encourage the industry to reduce excess packaging and force it to use materials that can be truly recycled.
” This is a good thing. Producers must be responsible for the goods they put on the market,” said Karel Ménard, general director of the Quebec Common Front for Ecological Waste Management. “They will have legal, financial and administrative responsibility for this sector. And that’s a good thing for the municipalities, because they are not the ones responsible for the containers that are put on the market. »
According to him, ÉEQ seems to take its role seriously. The organization also launched a campaign on Monday to make citizens aware of the importance of not putting non-recyclable objects in their bins (plastic toys, paint cans or diapers, for example).
In parallel with this recycling reform, Quebec has also introduced an expanded deposit for glass, plastic and metal containers.