Following last January’s Forum on Curbside Recycling Optimization, ÉEQ has been analyzing various options relating to the solutions identified during our discussions, including the optimization of sorting centres. That issue held the attention of ÉEQ and several stakeholders for several months, and we are now proud to move forward with today’s announcement that we will invest $40 million over the next five years to implement a sustainable solution for recycling 100% of glass produced in Quebec.
That investment, however, is conditional on a guarantee from the government that the integrity of curbside recycling materials and volumes of recyclable materials processed will be preserved. Specifically, ÉEQ is planning to invest in sorting centre equipment technologies that allow the sorting and processing of all glass types sent for recycling in Quebec. Whether the glass comes from wine bottles, which represent 50% of glass generated by Quebec homes, or other containers such as juice and vinegar bottles or jam jars, this investment will give this material a second life thanks to measures to modernize sorting centres, better condition glass and identify market outlets in order to stimulate the development of products made with recycled glass collected via the curbside recycling system.
Our initiative is designed to provide a definitive solution to the structural problem that has plagued us for so long by improving the quality of all processed glass and therefore getting greater access to market outlets adapted to Quebec’s situation.
The range of these market outlets is in fact growing: glass powder can be added to cement, outdoor furniture, ecological flagstones, abrasives and filtration sand, to name only a few.
It should be noted that all contributing companies will benefit from a higher-performance glass processing system, particularly the increased resale value of better-quality glass that can be introduced in the manufacturing of new products.
ÉEQ believes that investing in the improvement of current sorting centre infrastructures is far more productive than creating a parallel, high-cost deposit mechanism that would jeopardize the curbside recycling system, which has already proven its worth.
This is a step we need to take, together, to ensure the optimization of curbside recycling, while maintaining a reasonable bill for contributing companies.
Maryse Vermette, President & CEO