Expanding the scope of the deposit system: Curbside recycling will be weakened

Montréal, January 30, 2020 – Éco Entreprises Québec (ÉEQ), the non-profit organization that represents thousands of companies who finance the collection and sorting of recycling bin contents, is concerned about the Québec government’s decision to expand the scope of the deposit system to all glass, metal and plastic beverage containers by 2022. ÉEQ feels that rerouting those materials from the recycling bin to the deposit system will further deprive the system of over 30 million dollars to finance curbside recycling, which already suffers from the effects of the recycling crisis.

Indeed, this represents a shortfall of approximately 20% in a context where recycling costs are exploding. Sorting centre revenues will also be affected, as several beverage containers made of plastic and metal have good resale value. In order to lessen the financial impacts of this change, ÉEQ is asking the government to implement concrete compensation and mitigation measures, particularly for returnable containers, as these will still end up in recycling bins, as is the case currently.

A curbside recycling system that needs to be overhauled

The expansion of the deposit system and the current recycling crisis will require major adjustments regarding the collection, sorting and recycling of materials that will remain in the recycling bin. The system, therefore, must be overhauled from top to bottom. As previously noted, since last October, the government has had a series of recommendations from the action committee set up by Minister Charette and in which ÉEQ and key players of the curbside recycling system participated, to overhaul the system and improve its efficiency.

With today’s announcement, the modernization of the curbside recycling system is even more essential. It is crucial that companies who market containers, packaging and printed matter bear greater responsibilities in the system to be overhauled. Given that the government has decided to entrust the management of the expanded deposit system to companies who market beverage containers, it only makes sense that it would apply the same decision to the curbside recycling system.

For ÉEQ, the development of local markets for recyclable materials collected via the curbside recycling and deposit systems must be a priority in order to implement a true circular economy in Québec, one that will restore the public’s confidence in the recycling system.

About Éco Entreprises Québec

Éco Entreprises Québec (ÉEQ) is a private non-profit organization that represents the companies that place containers, packaging and printed matter on the market in Québec in their responsibility to finance the costs of effective and efficient municipal curbside recycling services.

As an expert, ÉEQ optimizes the curbside recycling value chain and implements innovative approaches with a view to sustainable development and circular economy.

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Marie-Claude Tremblay
Senior advisor, Public Affairs
Éco Entreprises Québec
514 250-6442, mctremblay@eeq.ca