Recyclable Materials Crisis: Our focus must be market development

The fact that the Régie intermunicipale de traitement des matières résiduelles de la Gaspésie (RITMRG) is facing the possibility of having to landfill certain recyclable materials if nobody takes them on soon – in spite of its proactive attempts to find solutions – confirms just how far-reaching the problem is for all Québec and North American materials recovery facilities since the Asian markets have been closed off to recovered materials.

Fibre bale prices have plummeted and the paper, paperboard and plastics markets are either saturated or closed. What is happening now in Gaspésie applies in fact to all regions across Québec, and it is high time to switch over to solutions mode in order to kick-start things and promote our recovery and recycling system in Québec.

“Fibres (paper and paperboard) represent more than 60% of the materials processed in Québec’s sorting centres and make up a very important portion of those facilities’ revenues. As the government proposes to broaden the scope of deposits, we must bring to the fore the fundamental challenge, which is to develop local markets for plastics and mixed paper materials,” said the RITMRG’s Managing Director, Nathalie Drapeau.

Developing local markets: A central challenge

“The whole system needs to be reviewed and capitalize on the desire of companies to be involved in the process, in partnership with municipalities and the actors of the value chain, well beyond simple financing, which they already cover 100%, in the case of curbside recycling. This additional involvement would certainly contribute to better market development and enhanced performance of recycling in Québec, in addition to making companies more accountable for the materials they market,” said Maryse Vermette, Chief Executive Officer of Éco Entreprises Québec.

Quebec’s Environment Minister Benoît Charrette has implemented an action committee on modernizing materials recovery and recycling due to present recommendations within the coming weeks, all parties agree to ask the government to quickly roll out the support it announced in the last budget for the modernization of sorting centres, to support the development of local markets and to exercise the leadership needed to implement a renewed partnership between all actors in the curbside recycling system in Québec.

Until then, we ask all citizens to continue trusting the curbside recycling system and keep doing the right thing by placing their recoverables in their collection bins.

About the Régie intermunicipale de traitement des matières résiduelles de la Gaspésie (RITMRG)

The RITMRG aims to provide all tools and services to ensure the proactive management of residual materials generated on the territories of the MRC du Rocher-Percé and MRC de la Côte-de-Gaspé. The RITMRG handles the following:

  • Landfilling ultimate residues (green bin)
  • Recovering recyclable materials (blue bin)
  • Receiving and processing reclaimable materials (eco centres)
  • Managing residual materials collection and transport contracts as well as the electronic chip system
  • Organic materials composting (brown bin)
  • Reclaiming electronics and computer components
  • Informing, raising awareness and educating

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.


Nathalie Drapeau, Managing Director
Régie intermunicipale de traitement des matières résiduelles de la Gaspésie (RITMRG)
Tel.: 418 385-4200, Cell.: 418 680-2134

André Fortin, Senior Advisor, External Relations
Éco Entreprises Québec
Cell.: 418 680-2134