Town of Brome Lake is poised to follow Cowansville and Bromont’s lead in setting up a voluntary glass deposit system to recover glass, at least as a pilot project, according to some TBL councillors.

“Currently we are leaning towards this kind of glass recovery system. We certainly have the financial resources to install such a system”, Gilbert Ariel, TBL’s general manager who is tasked to evaluate the viability of the project, told Tempo.

“Glass can actually contaminate other materials handled in the sorting centres”, according to Jean-Claude Thibault, spokesperson for the Verre-Vert movement in Racine. “The presence of glass dust, for example, degrades the quality of other recyclable materials, such as paper, cardboard and plastic. In fact, Cascades and Kruger shun large quantities of paper and cardboard generated by Québec’s sorting centres, as they are of very poor quality. Why toss into our recycling bins, pell-mell, all these so-called recyclable materials, only to pay for their being separated later on at a sorting centre?” he queried. “We’re much better off separating that at the collection stage.”

Politicians in the Townships and elsewhere are under huge pressure to remove bottles and other glass containers from the blue bins and recycling sorting centres where glass is barely being recycled. According to Recyc-Québec’s data, only 37% of glass destined for sorting centres across the province ends up being recycled or upgraded. Instead, most of the glass is sent to garbage dumps where it is used as layers of infill on site.

Will the CAQ government put an end to the selective collection system (blue bins) for glass collection throughout Quebec? The matter is still under discussion, we are told. A parliamentary commission on the matter is scheduled for the month of August. Stay tuned!

Meanwhile, Over at our Neighbours

In Cowansville, where a voluntary glass deposit station has been set up in the Super C parking lot, the Public Works Manager is delighted with the feedback from residents.

“We collected 12,000 pounds of glass in less than three weeks. It exceeded our expectations. The glass also delighted 2M Resources, a local materials reconditioner, forced to source glass outside of Quebec for lack of a local supply” he stated.

In Bromont a decision has finally been taken. The official inauguration of Bromont’s glass deposit system will take place on May 25th, Environment Day.

The Brome-Missisquoi MRC has moved more cautiously. General Manager Robert Desmarais prefers to wait for the results from more in-depth testing, using high performance equipment available at the Sani-Eco sorting centre. “If we get better results using better equipment, why change everything”, he stated. “Clearly we will not be giving orders to the MRC municipalities before next fall.”

That’s quite a different response from the MRC Val-St- François, which recently decided to extend its voluntary glass deposit system throughout its territory.

In St-Étienne-de-Bolton, the first town in the Townships to set up a voluntary deposit system, Colette Lemieux of AFEAS, (Association féminine d’éducation et d’action sociale) the first to initiate the movement, declared with pride: “This year we received at least 40 requests for information on the scope and scale of our glass collection experience, from the four corners of Quebec. Since 2015 we delivered 200 tonnes of glass to 2M Resources de St-Jean sur Richelieu. Isn’t that proof residents are ready to use the system? Remember, separate collection of glass and using the voluntary deposit system amount to the same thing. Both systems produce glass that is perfectly recyclable. Glass in the sorting centres, that’s another matter…” concluded Mrs. Lemieux.

Translation: Tam Davis