Quebec plans to double recycling capacity with machines to accept wine bottles, cardboard boxes and plastic

As experts say the need to tackle climate change becomes more urgent, Quebec is testing new devices in six cities to reduce the amount of recyclable material that goes into the trash.

The 1.3 million dollar project enables selected retailers and dispensaries in Montreal, Châteauguay, Granby, Trois-Rivières, Mont-Laurier and Terrebonne to accept containers from 100 milliliters to two liters thanks to new machines. The machine can also accept plastic water bottles, juice cartons, and other containers that will eventually be part of the deposit program.

Last year, Quebec announced that it would spend $ 30 million over the next three years on upgrading the province’s recycling facilities, reducing reliance on single-use plastics, and relieving the burden on recycling centers. As part of the revision of the recycling system, retailers need to ensure that the material they receive is recycled. Shops also risk unspecified penalties for failing to meet the province’s recycling goals.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Quebec’s Environment Minister Benoit Charette said the province was behind on expanding grocery recycling facilities.

Sonia Gagné, president of Recyc-Québec – the agency that advises the government on reducing waste – said she hopes the project will increase the recycling rate to 90 percent in 2030. It is currently 71 percent.

“The modernization and expansion of the deposit system are essential to significantly improve the quality of the materials we recover and to encourage the development of local outlets with higher added value,” Gagné said in a press release.

The six-month trial aims to increase Quebec’s recycling capacity from two billion items to four billion items by next year.

The province also plans to expand the container types in its deposit program and increase the maximum refund to 25 cents next year.

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