7.9. Know, inform, raise awareness, and educate
The RMMPs and various programs that promote recovery and reclamation have improved our knowledge of the residual materials generated in Québec in recent years. Life cycle analysis, whose benefits include educating us about the pressure on natural resources such as water and about greenhouse gas emissions, also enables us to draw more accurate conclusions from information gathered. Our knowledge is sometimes incomplete however, especially as concerns many products, certain ICI segments, and the construction sector, and must therefore be improved. Accordingly, the government wants to add to its knowledge of various aspects of residual materials management, including secondary material markets, treatment methods, economic instruments like municipal collection incentives, and environmental fees.
The situation in northern environments is also very poorly understood, which limits the possibility of helping local communities better manage their residual materials. The government wants to prioritize knowledge acquisition in order to be able to support the development and implementation of residual materials management plans in Northern Québec.
The government intends to focus on the need to inform, raise awareness, and educate all stakeholders involved in residual materials management, including local residents, elected officials, workers, business owners, and managers. Few people are fully aware of how their residual materials impact the environment, notably in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and the depletion of natural resources. Using revenues from landfill fees, the government will fund activities aimed at encouraging the population to better manage its residual materials. However, the diversity of target audiences means that messages must be tailored and priorities clearly established. Source reduction is a priority of the Policy. In this respect consumers must be addressed first since they are the ones who can take the right steps in this direction, for example by consuming less, choosing more durable and less harmful products, repairing instead of purchasing, using reusable and recyclable bags, leaving grass clippings on the lawn or composting at home.
In addition, the Policy aims to prevent organic matter from ending up in disposal sites. The main challenge in the coming years will be to get individuals to recover this waste. Information, awareness, and educational activities must be carried out. It will also be necessary to encourage industries and businesses to recover and reclaim organic matter, especially at restaurants and in food distribution companies and the agrifood industry.