Official groundbreaking in Montréal-Est for Matrec, a division of GFL and Éco Entreprises Québec
Montreal, October 27, 2023 — It was with great excitement that Maryse Vermette and Yazan Kano, respectively the heads of Éco Entreprises Québec (ÉEQ) and Matrec, a division of GFL Environmental Inc. (Matrec – GFL), celebrated the official groundbreaking for the future materials recycling facility to be built in the East End of the island of Montreal.
The event took place in the heart of the Montréal-Est industrial district. Attending the shovel turning ceremony were Benoit Charette, Quebec Minister of the Environment, the Fight Against Climate Change, Wildlife and Parks, Marie-Andrée Mauger, Mayor of the Borough of Verdun, and the Montreal Executive Committee member responsible for ecological transition and the environment, Anne St-Laurent, Mayor of Montréal-Est, and Denis Brisebois, Chair of the ÉEQ Board of Directors.
The centre will set a standard of unprecedented performance in Quebec, with state-of-the-art sorting systems and traceability processes that capitalize on the latest technologies and made-in-Quebec expertise. The new facility will be operational by January 2025 and will represent a turning point in the modernization of the province’s curbside recycling programs.
“I am proud to be here to turn the sod for this new Montréal-Est sorting centre, which is being built in collaboration with Matrec – GFL. When operational, the centre will sort 150,000 tonnes of containers, packaging and printed paper annually, thus diverting it from landfill. That’s no small achievement when you consider that sorting centres currently process about 1 million tonnes of recyclable materials a year in Quebec. Our government is working alongside a number of key players like these so that, together, we can manage our waste more sustainably, both by reducing at the source and by optimizing reuse, recycling and valorization.”
— Benoit Charette, Quebec Minister of the Environment, the Fight Against Climate Change, Wildlife and Parks
“Our commitments in the fight against climate change are clearly defined and ambitious in scope. Delivering on these commitments starts with consuming less and shifting to a new paradigm with regard to waste management. The Montréal-Est sorting centre is a symbol of the modernization of the curbside recycling system. This ceremonial construction kickoff is an important milestone in Montreal’s journey toward net zero. As a partner, we will be very active in our contributions to this project, given how invested we are in ensuring Montrealers have access to high-quality recycling services.”
— Marie-Andrée Mauger, Mayor of the Borough of Verdun, and the City of Montreal Executive Committee member responsible for ecological transition and the environment.
“Considering the environmental challenges we are facing, Montréal-Est is pleased to serve as the future home for this modern sorting centre. For our residents and others in the east end of the Island, this is a big step forward in optimizing our recyclables. It shows how committed we are to embracing sustainable practices across the board. Once it is operational, this third-generation sorting centre will put increased emphasis on reuse, which will mean less pollution, and create close to a hundred jobs.”
— Anne St-Laurent, Mayor of Montréal-Est
“I’m delighted to be here this morning to break ground on this new sorting centre. Matrec – GFL is proud to be building and eventually operating an environmental complex that will provide people in the east end of the Island of Montreal with optimal solutions for their recyclable materials using innovative features to improve sorting performance. Environmental stewardship and a commitment to playing a key role in developing the circular economy in Quebec are part of our DNA.”
— Yazan Kano, Regional Vice-President, Matrec – GFL
“This new sorting centre will be a real game-changer for the Quebec recycling industry in terms of extended producer responsibility for curbside recycling, by making this the cornerstone upon which the entire system is built.”
— Denis Brisebois, Chair of the Board of the Directors, Éco Entreprises Québec
“Today’s announcement is ÉEQ’s first major investment in our capacity as the organization in charge of modernizing curbside recycling in Quebec. This marks the beginning of the transformation of the province’s materials recycling facilities. The agreement in place with Matrec – GFL will ensure the project is carried out in accordance with best practices and sets new standards to close the loop in the circular economy.”
— Maryse Vermette, President and CEO, Éco Entreprises Québec
- Since the August 2023 signing of a contract between ÉEQ et Matrec, a division of GFL, both organizations have worked tirelessly to get the project off the ground as quickly as possible. Construction will take a little more than a year. The official opening date is slated for January 2, 2025.
- Starting October 1, 2024, three months before the opening of the new sorting centre, curbside recycling materials will start being routed to Matrec – GFL instead of the Complexe Environnemental St-Michel (CESM).
- A transition plan will be implemented to ensure the interim sorting of materials in the months between the end of the current CESM contract and the startup of the new centre. This plan is a pledge by ÉEQ and Matrec – GFL to ensure the recycling efforts of residents in the east end of the Island of Montreal are not affected by any interruptions in service during the switch.
- The sorting centre will be built in the Montréal-Est industrial district, on Sherbrooke Street East, and employ nearly 100 new workers.
- Nearly 800,000 tonnes of recyclable materials are recovered in Quebec every year through curbside recycling programs. The new centre has been designed to process 150,000 tonnes per year, or 15% to 20% of this volume — double the current capacity of the CESM.
About Éco Entreprises Québec
Since 2005, Éco Entreprises Québec (ÉEQ), a private non-profit organization, has represented producers of containers, packaging and printed matter regarding their financial responsibilities for curbside recycling. Named Producer Responsibility Organization (PRO) in 2022, ÉEQ manages the curbside recycling system in Quebec from a sustainable development perspective.
As a leader in extended producer responsibility (EPR), ÉEQ develops, manages and provides circular economy solutions to its member producers so they can reduce their environmental footprint. To achieve this, ÉEQ places ecodesign, recyclability and traceability at the core of all actions with its partners. ÉEQ will continue its role as a certified organization throughout the transition from the compensation plan to EPR curbside recycling.
About Matrec – GFL
GFL (Green For Life), established in Toronto, Ontario, is the fourth-largest diversified environmental services company in North America and the only one with headquarters for Eastern Canada in Montréal-Est. Founded in 2007, GFL is a leader in circular economy strategies and the development of new green technologies in Canada. Additionally, GFL operates in all environmental activity sectors, including residual materials management (curbside collection, construction/renovation/demolition materials, organic and compostable matter), hazardous waste and emergency response materials management, contaminated soil remediation management, as well as green renewable energy recovery. In Quebec, GFL operates under the name Matrec (for Matières recyclables, in French), a division of GFL Environmental Inc., with over 1,500 employees and collaborators.
Please see the fact sheet for further details on the project.
Photo credit: Josée Lecompte
Bottom line: At the official groundbreaking for the future materials recycling facility to be built in the East End of the island of Montreal, Benoit Charette, Quebec Minister of the Environment, the Fight Against Climate Change, Wildlife and Parks (center) is with: Mrs. Marie-Andrée Mauger, Mrs. Maryse Vermette, M. Denis Brisebois, M. Yazan Kano, M. Dave Richmond et Mrs. Anne St-Laurent (from left to right).
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Head, Strategy and Public Affairs
Éco Entreprises Québec
514-987-1491, ext. 237
Matrec – GFL