The City of Montreal has started public consultations on its master plan for waste disposal over the next five years. The City has a goal of being a zero waste municipality by 2030. If successful, waste diversion from landfill will be 75% by 2025 and 85% by 2030.

Zero waste is based on the idea of a circular economy, where virtually everything is reused, recycled or composted instead of being sent to landfill.

The average Canadian generates approximately one tonne of waste per year. City of Montreal officials that the zero waste goal can be achieved by each citizen actively participating in the 3R’s and a reduction of waste produced by each Montrealer by about 10 kilograms a year.

The Average Canadian generates almost one tonne per waste per year

The proposed five-year plan marks a departure from previous efforts in that it seeks to reduce consumption at the source rather than solely focusing on pick-up, transport, recycling, and disposal.

Public education is high on the list of priorities for the City if it is to achieve its ambitious zero waste goal within 10 years. Officials say they are also hoping to encourage people to question their own consumption habits by opting for greener products and ‘reducing and reusing’ before buying.

A major part of the city’s plan on reducing waste is for an expansion of compost pickup to businesses , schools and apartment buildings with six or more units (approximately 50% of municipal solid waste can be classified as organic) and banning types of plastic that are hard to recycle.

Included in Montreal’s five-year plan is for gradually prohibiting grocery stores from throwing out unsold food and banning disposal of unsold clothing by garment manufacturers and retailers.