Modernization of curbside recycling

Companies are at the heart of the system to recycle 100% of materials recovered in Quebec.

In collaboration with all participants in Quebec’s curbside recycling system, let’s transition our vision of recovery and recycling from a fragmented one to an integrated one. Through extended producer responsibility (EPR curbside recycling), companies who already finance the Quebec curbside recycling system will be given control over its the system and its management, in partnership with municipalities (EPR curbside recycling).

Our Vision:

To transform curbside recycling in Quebec into a circular economy for recyclable materials that is unique in North America.



Understanding the new curbside recycling model: EPR curbside recycling

In order to ensure that the system is efficient and effective, solutions based on standards and criteria, framework agreements with municipalities, contracts with sorting centres as well as transparency and accountability mechanisms are being introduced.

EPR curbside recycling, in cooperation with all players in the chain, will enable Quebec to build a recyclable materials circular economy.

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Circular Model

Transitioning from a linear system to an integrated and circular model: From payer to player! 

In the current system, through ÉEQ, companies finance 100% of municipal collection services for recyclable materials, but don’t have a formal link with municipalities or the various partners of the value chain. As provided for in the Compensation plan, ÉEQ remits funds to RECYC-QUÉBEC, who redistributes them to municipalities. Municipalities have contracts with collectors and with sorting centres or sorting centres, and the latter decide to whom materials are sold. There are as many ways to do things, as there are contracts. This is what we call silo management.

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In a modernized system, companies who market containers, packaging, printed matter and newspapers (C, P, PM & N) will be responsible for overseeing and supporting the management of their materials across the entire Quebec territory. They will be assigned performance goals for the recovery and recycling of their materials, with realistic and progressive targets regarding market development. This is what we refer to as a circular management of materials.

The Designated Stewarship Organization (DSO) certified by RECYC-QUÉBEC will carry out accountability reports according to the conditions defined by the Government of Quebec, specifically on performance indicators as well as on material quantities and qualities, all in order to have complete TRACEABILITY of products.

To summarize, EPR curbside recycling will enable companies to:

  • Oversee collection, transportation, sorting and processing of recyclable materials.
  • Integrate quality standards regarding collection and sorting.
  • Ensure the chain of custody or traceability of materials and transparency of accounting.
  • Innovate and position curbside recycling system as a true economic lever.

Players’ Roles and Responsibilities

Our vision is based on the competencies and know-how of all participants in the recycling industry. Therefore, all parties, from companies to citizens, municipalities, collectors, MRFs and processors, have their role to play. 

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Being responsible for the materials marketed means companies will have to find the means to:

  • Use eco-designed materials
  • Integrate recycled content in their C, P & PM
  • Ensure effective recovery and actual recycling of their C, P & PM materials
  • Fostering local market development with a view to build a circular economy.

Structure and Steps

ÉEQ is hard at work: Our actions

In order to track work and prepare for the transition to EPR-curbside recycling, ÉEQ and its partners have developed a strong collaborative governance structure

An Extended Committee that includes members from the ÉEQ Board, business associations and companies has been created by the board of directors. The committee is a meeting place for modernization work efforts underway. The committee’s mandate includes guiding the efforts of the four working groups set up by the government and developing positioning on EPR curbside collection.

The Association Committee, which brings together representatives from fifteen Quebec and pan-Canadian employer associations, is also contributing to this major project and helps to ensure an exchange mechanism on all files related to the Compensation plan and the modernization of curbside recycling.

ÉEQ also works with the recovery and recycling industry Advisory Committee created by Minister Charette in order to discuss issues pertaining to the system and submit courses of action or thinking points to the government. This committee will also contribute to work being carried out concurrently by working groups in order to bring forward for discussion the issues identified and for which measures should be established by working groups.

ÉEQ is proud to be an active participant in work efforts on the modernization of curbside recycling alongside companies, municipalities, material recovery facilities and the government.

Here is a map of how the working groups and committees are organized:

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Transition period

The establishment of an inclusive consultation structure will allow ÉEQ to take the lead in the continuity of discussions with the various stakeholders ahead of the upcoming curbside recycling EPR.

The four consultation committees will be set up in 2022 to promote exchanges and discussions to support the work of the Transition bureau during the transition period:

  1. Material Recovery Facilities
  2. Municipal partners for front-line services
  3. Materials ecodesign and recyclability
  4. Recycling and marketing of the material

Collaboration and governance structure

Steps towards a modernized curbside recycling system  

Follow the evolution of work and advancements that will lead to the modernization of the Quebec curbside recycling system.

A collective project spanning an approximate period of five years.


EPR curbside recycling at a glance

Eco-design and Circular Economy Plan (ECEP)

Plastics Action Plan

Materials accepted in the recycling bin

One-pager: Modernization of curbside recycling 

Bin it microsite: Building the circular economy for recyclable materials

Recording of the ”Bac-à-Bac” Event (in French Only)

Brief pertaining to Bill 65 — An Act to amend mainly the Environment Quality Act with respect to deposits and selective collection

Modernized curbside collection system in Quebec – Expected variances from current system  

Do you have other questions on this major project?  

Do not hesitate to contact one of our agents at  

All media requests should be addressed to Marie-Claude Tremblay, Senior Advisor, Public Affairs: