Resource Recycling News

Quebec PRO looks to build MRF

Inside a materials recovery facility. By Nordroden/Shutterstock

Éco Entreprises Québec plans to include “several innovative elements” at the upcoming MRF. | Nordroden/Shutterstock

A producer responsibility organization in Quebec just made its first big decision, selecting Green for Life to build and run a sorting center in Montreal.

Éco Entreprises Québec (EEQ) is in charge of the province’s extended producer responsibility for packaging system. Selected in October 2022 as the province’s producer responsibility organization (PRO), EEQ needed to start work immediately on a new MRF to replace an aging facility in Montreal East. It chose Matrec Green for Life, a division of large North American hauler Green For Life. 

Philippe Cantin, vice president of public affairs and government relations for EEQ, said the selection is a “major first step.” 

“It’s been a work in progress for multiple years, but the transition between now and 2025 is definitely on the way, so that’s one big piece,” he said. “The other big piece is the start of discussions with municipalities so we can sign contracts for collection and transportation.”

According to a press release, the current operation contract with Complexe Environnemental St-Michel will end in the fall of 2024. Cantin said the new facility will be up and running by January 2025. 

“We’ve got contingencies to make sure we get the work done and everything covered during the gap, but we want the gap to be as short as possible,” he said. 

Sorting out the details

An agreement in principle was signed on April 28, 2023, and a formal contract will come at the end of the summer, the press release noted, allowing Green for Life (GFL) to start site preparation and begin ordering sorting equipment.

Moving the MRF out of a densely populated area has long been part of the area’s urban plan, Cantin said. The planned location is in an industrial area, with “lots of room and a very good distance from any residential sectors.” 

“It’s a dramatic difference between that and the current situation,” Cantin said. 

The upcoming facility will be part of a larger GFL waste management campus. It will have modern technology and “several innovative elements to improve both the performance of operations and the safety of workers,” the press release noted. 

Yazan Kano, regional vice president of Matrec GFL, said in the press release that it will be one of “the most modern sorting centers in Canada, in addition to our new state-of-the-art sorting facility for residual materials generated by the construction, renovation and demolition sectors.”

“Through this future environmental complex, we are committing also to the Vision 2050 development plan of the city of Montréal-Est and we are convinced that Montreal’s east end will become a hub for the green economy in Canada,” Kano added. 

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