Montreal

Quebec City recycles 100% of glass while rest of province struggles to keep up

Each glass container that arrives at the capital city’s sorting centre is treated with state-of-the-art equipment before being sent to Bellemare Environnement, a recycler located in Trois-Rivières, Que.

On average, more than 70% glass collected for recycling ends up in landfills across the province

While much of the province struggles to recycle even 28 per cent of empties collected in recycling bins, Quebec City has a 100 per cent success rate. (Mead Gruver/AP file photo)

While about two thirds of glass slated for recycling ends up in landfills across the province, Quebec City is managing to recycle 100 per cent.

Each glass container that arrives at the capital city's sorting centre is handled by state-of-the-art equipment before being sent to Bellemare Environnement, a recycler located in Trois-Rivières, Que.

Mathieu Fournier, who heads up the city's residual material collection, told Radio-Canada the glass is used to make abrasives for activities such as sandblasting.

However, the success rate of glass recycling is abysmal in the rest of the province. Only 28 per cent of glass collected for recycling was actually recycled in 2018, according to Recyc-Québec. And that doesn't account for the glass that ends up in trash cans.

"We are in another league," said Fournier. "We are one of the most advanced centres in Quebec, if not the most advanced."

The Quebec City sorting centre is one of five centres participating in Éco Entreprises — a provincial program aimed at modernizing facilities to allow "100 per cent recycling of glass."

Last week, the head of Quebec's liquor board said she is open to the idea of collecting deposits on glass bottles, but it won't be able to manage the empties.

Fournier said a deposit system, as is done with cans and beer bottles, would reduce the amount of glass being tossed in the the trash — something, he said, that happens all too often.

"There are still, unfortunately, merchants, restaurateurs, but also people who put the glass in the trash," he said, noting disposing of glass thrown in the trash is 18 times more expensive than recycling it.

Based on a report by Radio-Canada

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.