The Plante administration defended Tuesday the segregation of household waste collection – a collection every two weeks – as this measure will soon be applied in Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve (MHM).
Posted 11:40am Updated 6:03pm
The East Montreal Borough will eliminate half of its garbage collection by the end of next year. Goal: Increase the use of compost and recyclables bins, which will continue to be picked up weekly.
“It’s a bold move that takes elected officials, citizens and teams out of their comfort zones,” said Marie-Andrée Mauger, elected environmental officer at the local government. She noted that the landfills Montreal uses are filling up quickly and that there is an urgent need to reduce the amount of trash that goes to the landfill each week.
“We see the limits of consciousness,” said MHM Mayor Pierre Lessard-Blais. We must change our habits. The two elected officials spoke to the municipal council.
Official opposition at City Hall tried to persuade the administration to continue collecting garbage weekly during the hot June-September season to limit odors and the presence of vermin. Valérie Plante’s team rejected the idea. “Cleanliness is a matter of dignity,” said opposition politician Alba Zuniga Ramos, who represents a district of the MHM. The ecological turn should not rhyme with dirt. »
“When the administration shows so much enthusiasm for such a project, I invite them to lead by example, to move forward and set up the same project in their community,” attacked Julien Hénault-Ratelle, councilor of the Mercier-Hochelaga municipality -Maisonneuve, citing the mayors of Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie, Verdun and Plateau-Mont-Royal. “When they receive hundreds of complaints from their citizens, I doubt they will still laugh at the situation. »
Ms. Zuniga Ramos and Mr. Hénault-Ratelle say they have received numerous complaints from residents of the district who took part in a pilot project last year. This pilot suggests that segregated waste collection could increase the use of other collection bins by 20%.
Industry calls for dialogue
For the Director-General of the Council of Environmental Technology Companies of Quebec (CETEQ), Kevin Morin, the spacing of the collections has to be implemented “piece by piece”. “It’s not all black or all white. There are districts where people have big garbage cans and where it’s easier to wait two weeks. But in other areas, where there are rather small garbage cans or bags, the residents often have a harder time,” he says.
“In these sectors we see that people often end up sending contaminated waste because it is easier for them. Besides that it can contaminate 100% of the container and can contaminate even more materials in the truck. That is the main problem,” emphasizes Mr. Morin.
According to him, the pilot project carried out last year “confirms exactly these concerns that we see in practice”. “We invite the cities taking this path to sit down with industry to discuss the feasibility of the project depending on the targeted sectors. The key is really there,” the DG concludes.
CETEQ represents around 200 member associations or companies, particularly in the materials sorting industry. Collectively, these companies represent 15,000 workers with annual sales of more than $2.1 billion.