Montreal’s Plan to ban food waste disposal in garbage

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The City of Montreal recently announced a plan to ban the disposal of food waste generated at large grocery stores from being disposed of in the garbage. Under the plan, grocery stores will be required to divert edible food to charitable organizations such as food banks. Inedible food waste is to collected separately from other wastes so that it can be aerobically composted or anaerobically digested.

According to the City of Montreal, approximately half the the waste disposed of in landfill is organic material.

Under the plan, anything that cannot be donated must be composted or anaerobically digested. If businesses do not comply, Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante said they could face fines, as a last resort.

That enforcement would come in phases, starting with large grocery stores.

“We’re serious about doing the ecological transition, and all the areas need to be looked at, whether it’s transport, about food, about recycling,” Plante said.

A successful partnership between several Montreal grocery stores and food banks have been in operation since 2013. The food bank Moisson Montréal accepts edible food not sold at Provigo, IGA and Metro grocery stores. In 2018, it is estimated the food bank received more than 1 million kilograms of food from the grocery stores.

Interestingly, Second Harvest has developed a mobile app, called FoodRescue, designed to put organizations wanting to donate food to those we want it. FoodRescue.ca is a connection that works on a local level
for any food business to donate any type of unsold, good food to any organization that feeds people in need.