During the Holidays, continue to place wine bottles in your recycling bin

Montreal, December 19, 2014 – Louise Fecteau, spokesperson for the bacs+ group, sent a message to municipal elected officials and the members of Quebec’s National Assembly cautioning them against expanding the deposit system, particularly to wine and water bottles. “It’s high time for Quebecers to realize that broadening the deposit system is a veritable attack on curbside recycling that could jeopardize a simple, accessible and highly effective system we have been collectively developing for more than 20 years,” said Ms. Fecteau.

The bacs+ group represents thousands of companies, organizations and associations of retailers, restaurant owners and convenience stores as well as many stakeholders in the materials recovery industry who have rallied under the recycling bin symbol to promote the effectiveness and efficiency of curbside recycling.

Here is what was sent:

Think about it…
Removing containers from the recycling bin to return them for deposit: not such a good idea!

This fall, deposit system supporters asked to have wine bottles immediately excluded from the curbside recycling system, without taking into consideration the major negative impacts this decision could have. Leading up to the Holiday season when making wise decisions is a must, we hope everyone takes the time to look at the potential consequences of such a switch.

The issue of broadening the deposit system to include wine or water bottles is complex. Risks include:

  • Jeopardizing 20 years of work to make curbside recycling a simple and effective system.

  • Forcing Quebecers to go back to the store to return bottles and recover the deposit they paid.

  • Increasing costs for municipalities who pay 50% of the costs of managing materials mistakenly placed in recycling bins.

  • Curbing sorting centre modernization efforts currently underway and stranding the 50% of glass used for containers other than for wine and spirits.

  • Turning the clock back 30 years to install and manage pollution-generating deposit centres or recovery structures in each city, town and village.

  • Weakening the relevance of recycling bins in public places.

  • Increasing costs for the government in a climate of budgetary austerity.

  • Discouraging highly promising projects to develop uses for glass powder in municipal infrastructures (roadwork, sidewalks, concrete) that are beneficial for the environment and public finances.

  • Increasing GHGs and reducing environmental performance.

  • Calling into question companies’ financing of the curbside recycling compensation plan.

Decisions affecting curbside recycling practices must be based on in-depth analyzes and involve first-line stakeholders. It would therefore be wise to wait for the findings of the CREATE study (Centre de Recherche en économie de l’Environnement, de l’Agroalimentaire, des Transports et de l’Énergie) and of the Minister’s advisory committee on residual materials, among other sources of information. In the meantime, any attempt to discredit the current curbside recycling system should be strongly discouraged.

This Holiday season, continue to place all your wine bottles as well as pickle, ketchup and condiment jars and other glass containers in your recycling bin. Curbside recycling should be expanded, not dismantled!   Let’s take the time during this joyous period to recycle more, and better.

bacs+ Partners: Association des détaillants en alimentation du Québec (ADA), Retail Council of Canada (RCC), Canadian Beverage Association, Association des Embouteilleurs de Boissons Gazeuses du Québec (AEBGQ), Association des Restaurateurs du Québec (ARQ), Association québécoise des dépanneurs en alimentation (AQDA), Conseil de la transformation agroalimentaire et des produits de consommation (CTAC), Québec Restaurant and Foodservices Council (Restaurants Canada), Conseil des entreprises en technologies environnementales du Québec (CETEQ), Conseil québécois du commerce de détail (CQCD), Éco Entreprises Québec, Eagle Vizion, Federation of Plastics and Alliances Composites (FPAC), Gaïa environnement, Gaudreau Environnement, Away-from-Home Recovery Program, Eaux Naya Inc., Machinex, Ni Corporation, Plastrec Inc., RÉSEAU Environnement, Spirits Canada, Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ), Soleno, Soleno Recyclage, Tricentris, Conseil des industriels laitiers du Québec inc.

Virginie Bussières
Director, Communications and Public Affairs
Éco Entreprises Québec

Information and requests for interviews:
Pierre Guillot-Hurtubise
Octane Strategies