The sorting centres in Quebec have the capacity to recycle 100% of glass, according to a report
The sorting centres in Quebec have the capacity to recycle 100 % of the glass that is found in the recovery tank, argues a report released by Éco Entreprises Québec (ÉEQ), for an investment of $ 50 million for the modernisation of these centres and to develop markets for this material.
Éco Entreprises Québec is a non-profit organization private, representing companies that market containers, packaging and printed matter, including through the sale of food products and the distribution of advertisements.
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A container for the glass to Magog?
It is estimated that this goal could be reached within three to four years.
After investments of $ 12.2 million and two years of pilot projects in the five sorting centers, the organization has made public Tuesday, the balance of his plan “Drink innovation”.
According to its findings, the 23 sorting centres, quebec and may treat all the glass and achieve a level of purity of over 97 %, which allows for a diversified use.
The glass poses particular challenges, notes the body.
Only the bottles of beer that are recorded can be reused as they are.
Other glass containers, such as bottles of wine, jars of jams and spaghetti sauce, can not be reused only marginally in their original form, it is stressed.
Currently, the glass is to be found most of the time at the landfill as cover material, between layers of waste.
To avoid this situation, ÉEQ provides for staffing all sorting centres in Quebec – according to the five models – equipment for sorting and processing of modern glass, at a cost estimated at $23 million.
ÉEQ involves Quebec in order to finance this plan, the green Fund could be put to contribution.
What to do with all this glass?
For the moment, packers in Quebec are not able to process such a quantity of glass, said in an interview the president and ceo of ÉEQ, Maryse Vermette. It would be of some 120 000 tonnes of glass annually, according to its estimate and that of Recyc-Québec, ” she said.
This is why the agency recommends an investment of $ 20 million, in order to allow the conditioners to acquire the technological equipment adapted.
There are currently three conditioners of glass in Quebec : Trois-Rivières, specializing in abrasives and glass powder, in the Montérégie region, which transforms the glass into cullet for the redesign and also to the mineral wool, and one in Ottawa, that produces the glass powder which can be used for supplementary cementitious materials for sidewalks and park benches, among others.
Other opportunities have also been identified in the market studies conducted by ÉEQ : the material of the backfill, and insulation for the municipal pipes, the coating materials of the hiking trail, as well as for constructions of road infrastructure.
It is even possible to “make bottles with our bottles,” enthuses the ceo. However, it is noted in the report that the tests carried out showed that a line of specific treatment is required in order to produce a glass that meets the quality requirements of manufacturers of containers and glass bottles.
The glass is contaminated, according to an agency
But the glass going through the recycling bins and the sorting centers is contaminated by various materials, ” said Karel Ménard of the Front commun québécois pour the ecological management of waste (FCQGED). And it can then be used to remelt the bottles.
According to him, the pilot projects ÉEQ have not generated glass pure enough to be used for this purpose. “The glass so treated can only be used for abrasive, projects, ornamental or filtration systems, in particular. Markets that are already almost at saturation”, he laments.
On Tuesday, the national Assembly, the minister of the Environment, Benoît Charette, spoke of a “crisis in the glass”. But to answer, it must have a global vision, ” he said, adding that the record “should not be a solution in itself.”
“The mandate that I was clearly entrusted by the prime minister is the one to watch for all of the management of residual materials.”
He promises to soon make known the position of the government.
He made these comments while he was then questioned by the member Ruba Ghazal, Québec solidaire, which exposed the report to ÉEQ, which it described as a lobby that represents Coca-Cola and Nestlé in the world”.
Contacted Tuesday, Recyc-Québec did not respond to our interview request.
And the setpoint?
Movements develop in Quebec to claim a deposit on wine bottles.
But such a system is not part of the plan, ÉEQ.
Why? “We are in favour of the deposit system if the reuse is possible,” said Ms. Vermette. However, it is the case of beer bottles, which can be reused several times by the brewers, but not wine bottles. They are largely imported, but the producing countries do not resume, emphasizes the ceo.
It favors a single solution for all the glass, she argues.
The canadian Council of retail commerce (RCC) is in agreement with this vision, which he describes as the “complete solution in the field of glass recycling”.
But the FCQGED considers that the plan “Drink innovation” does nothing, while delaying a decision on the consignment of bottles of the Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ).
If the bottles of wine were captured, they would not be contaminated in the centers of sorting and could be purchased at a much better price by recyclers who could be recast in glass containers. It is there that there is a real market, said Mr. Ménard.
The FCQGED also announced last week its withdrawal from the follow-up committee of the pilots of the plane Glass innovation.
In Quebec, the companies that market containers, packaging and printed matter are responsible for funding the municipal services of selective collection. ÉEQ represents these companies and receives the amounts necessary to offset the costs of selective collection, which is estimated at $ 150 million annually.