The Quebec government recently announced that is was putting $1.2 billion towards a composting strategy that will result in all citizens in the province having access to composting services come 2025 and with the fully implemented by 2030. In addition to providing composting services to citizens across the province, the plan is to manage composting in all industries, businesses and institutions by 2025 as well, in the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 270,000 tonnes per year by 2030.
“We are taking another step forward by investing $1.2 billion to divert organic matter from disposal sites and ensure their recovery, which will significantly contribute to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions,” Benoit Charette, Quebec Environment Minister said in a statement. “Thanks to the support of the government and the municipalities, the entire population as well as industries, businesses and institutions will be able to contribute to an even healthier management of our residual materials.”
Currently, only 57 per cent of Quebecers have access to food waste collection services. The province’s waste totals in at 5.8 million tons per year, 60 per cent of which is organic matter. The waste sector also emits around 4.55 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year and is the fifth largest contributor in the province.
The new strategy aims to adapt collection services as well as processing facilities to Quebec’s many regions. To promote composting and limit waste, the government is increasing landfill charges from $23.51 to $30 per ton. Charette said this sends a clear signal that Quebec intends to discourage the elimination of residual materials in favour of their recovery.
The government claims that for this strategy to work, all actors, including those at the municipal level, must share responsibilities – and it says it plans on helping them better manage their green waste and improving their ecocentres to do so. Quebec will work with municipalities to speed up the establishment of collection services and processing facilities. In addition, the province will promote the quality of the organic matter treated and the development of local outlets for composts and other residual fertilizing materials from this collection.
The program to reduce, recover and recycle organic materials from industries, businesses and institutions, administered by Recyc-Québec, will be awarded $9.6 million. The Crown corporation is also responsible for a new recognition program for sorting centres for construction, renovation and demolition residue. That program is the result of concerted discussions with the residual materials management industry.
In summary, the goals of Quebec’s compost strategy are as follows:
- Offer the collection of organic matter to all citizens of Quebec by 2025.
- Manage organic matter in 100 per cent of industries, businesses and institutions by 2025.
- Recycle or recover 70 per cent of the organic matter targeted by 2030.
- Reduce 270,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
The plan also intends to allocate funds to programs that finance the management of organic matter, which will help boost green infrastructures. The government says this will help boost the province’s economic recovery.