Major investment by Éco Entreprises Québec: A sustainable solution for 100% of glass in Quebec

Montréal, June 5, 2015 – Any sustainable solution for recycling glass must include the modernization of sorting centres. That is why Éco Entreprises Québec’s (ÉEQ) Board of Directors announced today that industry will invest $40 million over a period of five years notably to equip sorting centres with technologies that process all types of glass sent for recycling in Quebec. Whether the glass comes from wine bottles, which represent 50% of glass generated by Quebec homes, or other glass containers such as juice and vinegar bottles or jam jars, this investment will give glass a second life as a result of measures to stimulate the development of products made with recycled glass collected via curbside recycling.

 “ÉEQ’s contributing members already pay $135 million each year to compensate for municipal curbside recycling services. It’s therefore only natural to want a high-performance system and ensure its integrity, while avoiding the creation of parallel deposit systems that not only weaken the entire recycling chain due to smaller volumes and poorer performance, but do nothing to resolve the problem for all glass containers. If the government wishes, as we do, to take a far-reaching approach to the issue of glass recycling and strengthen this green industry throughout Quebec, we are prepared to offer our full cooperation with a direct investment in sorting centre modernization. It is indeed a unique opportunity to implement a comprehensive solution that will help the government meet its sustainable development objectives and confirm Quebec’s role as a leader in curbside recycling in both Canada and North America,” said Denis Brisebois, Metro Inc. Vice-President and Chair of ÉEQ’s Board of Directors.

Concrete measures to give a second life to recycled glass in Quebec

Over the past year, ÉEQ’s team determined that a wide-ranging glass recycling stimulus plan was needed. The plan needs to focus on two main axes: first, significantly increase the variety of innovative market outlets for glass and, second, introduce technologically-advanced equipment in all sorting centres in Quebec to ensure sufficient supplies of recycled glass that meet both industry standards and demand for the material on Quebec’s market.

“The government can promote the development of market outlets for glass which are currently growing, particularly for road infrastructures. As for sorting centres, we need to guarantee the integrity of the system by maintaining volumes of recyclable materials processed as well as agree on the quality levels required for sorted materials and minimum conditions for public and private investment. ÉEQ wishes to work closely with the Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et la Lutte contre les changements climatiques to implement our stimulus plan. We also invite our municipal partners and sorting centres with whom we have been working for the past ten years to join us in strengthening curbside recycling,” added Maryse Vermette, ÉEQ’s President & CEO.

The plan follows on the heels of the January 28, 2015, Forum on Curbside Recycling Optimization organized by ÉEQ, attended by over 200 key actors from the curbside recycling industry. Over the past several months, ÉEQ has been working on a plan to optimize the system, particularly with regard to glass processing.

Technologically-advanced equipment designed for mixed-materials sorting

ÉEQ has identified high-performance and innovative technologies developed in Quebec and abroad that sort glass from mixed-materials collection. While this type of collection presents major challenges, it enables us to reach high materials recovery rates because it is easy and simple for the public to do their part.

Scalable to each sorting centre’s configuration and capacity, the equipment produces quality glass that is particularly appropriate for applications in Quebec and emerging markets, such as the addition of glass powder to cement, outdoor furniture, ecological flagstones, abrasive and filtration sand, etc.

Significant investments

ÉEQ’s sorting centre modernization plan highlights the importance of providing Quebec with the necessary infrastructures for developing the recycling industry’s full environmental, economic and social potential. The scope of investments companies are prepared to make, i.e. approximately $40 million over five years, is evidence of their focus on solutions to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of the curbside recycling system.

This coming summer, ÉEQ will meet with recycling industry stakeholders in Quebec to pursue in this major project.

About Éco Entreprises Québec

Éco Entreprises Québec (ÉEQ) is the organization that develops the Schedule of Contributions and collects company contributions, which are then redistributed to finance municipal curbside recycling services in Quebec. ÉEQ also encourages innovation and sharing of best practices in order to optimize the recyclable materials value chain. To do so, ÉEQ cooperates, on the one hand, with companies to reduce quantities of materials at the source and encourage the use of recyclable materials, as well as with municipalities to increase recycling and the economic value of recovered materials. ÉEQ is a private non-profit organization created by companies that put containers, packaging and printed matter on Quebec’s market. The organization was accredited by RECYC-QUÉBEC in 2005 under the Environment Quality Act.

Virginie Bussières
Director, Communications and Public Affairs
Éco Entreprises Québec
514-987-1491, ext. 225

Isabelle Monette    
Octane Stratégies
514-286-6033 ext. 226