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q-2, r. 35.1
- Québec residual materials management policy
Table of contents
Environment Quality Act
Updated to 1 August 2023
This document has official status.
Q-2, r. 35.1
Québec residual materials management policy
ENVIRONMENT QUALITY — MATERIALS MANAGEMENT POLICY
Environment Quality Act
(chapter Q-2, s. 53.4)
The purpose of this publication is to make public the government policy on residual materials management made pursuant to section 53.4 of the Environment Quality Act (chapter Q-2).
In recent years, Québec has made a firm commitment to sustainable development by adopting a series of policies and implementing programs and measures that are based on the Sustainable Development Act (chapter D-8.1.1) and are a part of the 2008-2013 Government Sustainable Development Strategy. This new approach promotes the emergence of a green economy based on economic development that respects the environment and citizens’ quality of life. Implementation of the Climate Change Action Plan and the Québec Energy Strategy, and adoption of a development strategy for Québec’s environmental and green technology industry, entitled
Pour un Québec vert et prospère
, are some compelling examples.
Development of this green economy relies on recourse to renewable energy sources–notably hydroelectricity and wind energy–and to technology and innovation. The Residual Materials Management Policy will be an additional tool to build this new economy by helping Québec take full advantage of its resources.
The 13 million-odd tons of residual materials produced in Québec annually hold undeniable potential to be used both in manufacturing goods and products and energy production. To illustrate this point, it should be noted that the 2.5 million tons of the most commonly recycled residual materials recovered in Québec in 2006 (metal, paper, cardboard, plastic, and glass) were valued at $550 million and generated over 10,000 direct jobs. Recycling and reintroducing these materials into the production cycle also yielded significant gains with respect to the economy, resource protection, and greenhouse gas emissions reduction.
Based on the government’s desire to build a green economy and on the collective and individual commitment of Quebecers to sustainable development, this Policy aims to encourage behaviors that are more respectful of the environment as well as better residual materials management and consumption practices. It aims to create a zero-waste society that maximizes added value through sound residual materials management, and its main goal is for end waste to be the only residual material sent for disposal in Québec.
To help meet this goal, the Policy includes measures that will address the 3 main challenges of residual materials management:
— Ending resource waste
— Promoting the achievement of the goals of the Climate Change Action Plan and of the Québec Energy Strategy
— Making all stakeholders involved responsible for residual materials management
Challenge 1: Ending resource waste
Large quantities of raw materials are used to produce goods, which, once consumed, increase the volume of residual materials to be managed. Part of these materials can be reduced at the source to take pressure off natural resources and reduce the ecological footprint associated with extracting them. The remainder, however, will remain in the management cycle. Québec produced nearly 13 million tons of residual materials in 2008. Although the measures implemented under the 1998-2008 Québec Residual Materials Management Policy helped increase the amount of recycled residual materials from 3.4 million to 6.8 million tons between 1998 and 2008, nearly half the residual materials that Québec generates continue to be sent to disposal sites without any value being recovered. A total of 810 kg of waste per capita were sent for disposal in Québec in 2008. It is essential to stop wasting these resources and to recover them. They may then be used to stimulate job creation and contribute to social progress by fostering the growth of wealth in Québec.
Challenge 2: Promoting achievement of the goals of the Climate Change Action Plan and of the Québec Energy Strategy
Climate change is a major issue for our society. From a residual materials management perspective, it concerns first and foremost the management of organic material. Currently, most residual organic material in Québec is landfilled or incinerated. Approaches to managing this material must, however, seek to add value to it, to improve our greenhouse gas balance and contribute to the Québec Energy Strategy, which seeks to put new technology to good use. In large quantities, organic waste has great potential in the creation of a new green energy industry by means of biomethanation, a process that produces biogas as an alternative to fossil fuels.
Challenge 3: Making all stakeholders involved responsible for residual materials management
A sustainable residual materials management model assumes that all actors affected assume the responsibilities and costs incumbent upon them. This approach is founded on the “polluter pays” principle and the principle of responsible production and consumption. Businesses that market products must be responsible for them throughout their lifecycle, including the post-consumer stage. Consumer participation is also a key factor in the success of this model and the government intends to reach out to them and design tools that will guide them in their choices.
Residual materials management in Québec is based on a regional planning approach for all waste produced in municipal territories, whether it is of domestic, industrial, commercial, or institutional origin or is generated by the construction, renovation, or demolition sector. Regional municipalities are responsible for such planning and must ensure that their management plan covers all generators of residual materials within their boundaries.
Lastly, those who generate residual materials–citizens, businesses, and institutions alike–are not sufficiently aware of the importance of managing these materials effectively and of taking part in the various programs set up to reduce resource waste. They do not receive enough encouragement. The government has an important role to play in this regard.
O.C. 100-2011, s. 1
Residual materials management is based on a principle of action that gives priority to management methods that will have the least impact on the environment. Known as the 4R-D, this principle is defined as follows in Québec:
Unless an environmental analysis based on a goods and services life cycle approach indicates that a deviation is justified, residual materials management must give priority to source reduction, reuse, recycling (including by biological treatment or landspreading), other forms of material reclamation, energy production, and disposal, in that order.
Based on the 4R-D, the Québec Residual Materials Management Policy subscribes to sustainable development arising from the idea that things cannot continue as before and that the shortfalls of development models focused solely on economic growth must be remedied by reconsidering our methods in light of our new priorities. We must aim at economic efficiency to create an innovative, prosperous, and environmentally and socially responsible economy–in short, a green economy.
The measures recommended under the Policy support this vision and the principles set forth in the Sustainable Development Act (chapter Q-2), particularly social equity and solidarity, environmental protection, economic efficiency, participation and commitment, access to knowledge, subsidiarity, prevention, responsible production and consumption, the “polluter pays” principle, and internalization of costs.
Social equity and solidarity
Development must be undertaken in a spirit of intra- and inter-generational equity and social ethics and solidarity.
To achieve sustainable development, environmental protection must be an integral part of the development process.
Québec and its regions must have a strong economy conducive to innovation and prosperity that leads to social progress and respects the environment.
Participation and commitment
The participation and commitment of citizens and citizens’ groups are needed to define a concerted vision of development and ensure its environmental, social, and economic sustainability.
Access to knowledge
Measures to promote education, access to information, and research must be encouraged in order to spur innovation and improve public awareness and effective participation in the implementation of sustainable development.
Powers and responsibilities must be delegated at the appropriate level of authority. Decision-making venues must be properly distributed, with a view to ensuring they are as close as possible to the citizens and communities concerned.
Preventive, mitigative, and corrective measures must be put in place in the presence of a known risk, preferably at the source.
Responsible production and consumption
Production and consumption patterns must be changed in order to make production and consumption more viable and more socially and environmentally responsible, in particular through an ecoefficient approach that avoids waste and optimizes the use of resources.
Those who generate pollution or whose actions otherwise degrade the environment must bear their share of the cost of measures to prevent, reduce, control, and mitigate environmental damage.
Internalization of costs
The value of goods and services must reflect all the costs they generate for society during their whole life cycle, from their design to their final consumption and disposal.
O.C. 100-2011, s. 2
The current residual materials management approach does not generate maximum value from these materials, as nearly half of the residual materials produced are disposed of. Efficient management of these materials will foster the development of a new industry that creates jobs and wealth.
The goal of the Québec Residual Materials Management Policy is to implement various measures that not only help improve our environment and help reduce economic losses associated with simple disposal of residual materials, but also foster the growth of the recycling and energy production industries. These measures aim to:
Prevent or reduce the production of residual materials, particularly by targeting product manufacturing and marketing;
Promote recycling and reclamation of residual materials;
Reduce the quantity of residual materials sent for disposal and ensure the safe management of disposal sites;
Require producers to take into consideration the environmental effects of their products and the costs associated with the recycling, reclamation, and disposal of the residual materials generated by these products.
O.C. 100-2011, s. 3
The Policy applies to all residual materials generated in Québec by households, industries, businesses, and institutions, including those produced by construction, renovation, and demolition activities and waste from primary industry that is transported outside of production sites to disposal sites or to residual materials reclamation facilities. These residual materials also include municipal and industrial sludge and out-of-service vehicles and their waste. The Policy does not apply, however, to hazardous materials (except for household and similar products), animal dung, uncollected logging residues, biomedical waste, mine tailings, soil containing contaminants in quantities or concentrations exceeding the level set by regulation, and gaseous substances, except for those contained in another residual material or arising from the treatment of such a material.
O.C. 100-2011, s. 4
The goal of the Policy is to implement measures for the creation of a zero-waste society that seeks to maximize added value through sound residual materials management, thereby making it perpetual. It is accompanied by a 5-year action plan that sets intermediate goals for the period concerned.
Each plan describes initiatives, sets deadlines, and identifies the goals or other performance indicators to be met. It may also include goals specific to certain industries or sectors.
During its execution, the action plan may be subject to an assessment and review, if necessary. The assessment is made public by the Minister. Before the plan expires, the Minister makes recommendations on the future action plan and for the revision of the Policy, if required.
O.C. 100-2011, s. 5
The main goal of the Policy is as follows:
— Make end waste the only residual material sent for disposal in Québec
End waste is the waste that results after residual materials have been sorted, processed, and reclaimed and cannot be processed any further under existing technical and economic conditions to extract reclaimable content or reduce its polluting or hazardous character.
The intermediate quantitative goals of the first action plan are as follows:
By the end of 2015:
— Reduce the quantity of residual materials sent for disposal to 700 kg per capita, 110 kg less per capita than in 2008;
— Recycle 70% of paper, cardboard, plastic, glass, and metal waste;*
— Process 60% of organic putrescible waste;
— Recycle or reclaim 80% of concrete, brick, and asphalt waste;
— Sort at the source or send to a sorting center 70% of construction, renovation, and demolition waste from the building segment.
These goals represent a national average to which everyone must contribute. The first one, expressed in kilograms per capita, takes into account source reduction, reuse, recycling, and other forms of waste reclamation.
Each residual materials management plan must include measures compatible with achieving all goals in the area covered by the plan.
Other goals specific to materials or products–notably those under extended producer responsibility–are set by regulation or agreement.
* This does not concern product materials or categories for which recovery and reclamation goals are set by regulation.
O.C. 100-2011, s. 6
The Policy’s 10 intervention strategies aim to address the 3 main residual materials management challenges:
— Ending resource waste
— Promoting achievement of the goals of the Climate Change Action Plan and of the Québec Energy Strategy
— Making all stakeholders involved responsible for residual materials management
O.C. 100-2011, s. 7
Maintain the 4R-D hierarchy
Within the meaning of the 4R-D principle, reclamation refers to the processing of residual materials to recover useful substances or products or energy, while the Environment Quality Act (EQA) (chapter Q-2) defines it as “any operation the purpose of which is to obtain usable substances or products, or energy, from residual materials through reuse, recycling, composting, regeneration, or any other process that does not constitute elimination.” The EQA therefore assigns the same value to each operation. Underlying the 4R-D principle, however, is the notion that prioritizing source reduction, reuse, recycling, and other forms of reclamation in that order–certain exceptions aside–yields the greatest benefit in residual materials management.
To ensure that residual materials are subject to the most sustainable management methods, any waste management plan or program developed by the Minister will give priority to source reduction and, in treating these materials, will respect the following order: reuse, recycling (including by biological treatment or landspreading), any other form of reclamation by which residual materials are treated for use as a substitute for raw materials, energy production, and disposal. However, deviating from this order will be possible when an analysis demonstrates this is justified based on a goods and services life cycle approach.
The government also plans to establish criteria specific to Québec that will serve as a framework for recognizing reclamation activities. For example, in the case of thermal processing, apart from complying with residual materials management plans (RMMPs), the government wants to ensure that energy performance, greenhouse gas balance, the final destination of waste, and compliance with air emission standards are taken into account so that this activity can be recognized as reclamation within the meaning of the Policy.
O.C. 100-2011, s. 7.1
Prevent and reduce the production of residual materials
In accordance with the 4R-D hierarchy, priority should be given to prevention through source reduction to decrease the quantity and toxicity of residual materials to be managed. Businesses responsible for marketing products can intervene at the design stage to make products more eco-friendly.
The government considers it essential that producers take greater responsibility and intends to adopt measures that prompt businesses to reduce the amount of residual materials derived from the consumption of their products. Voluntary agreements with businesses regarding reductions in packaging and improvements to packaging properties to facilitate recycling are among the measures that will be proposed. These measures will be the subject of discussions between the various actors concerned and, if the results of their implementation prove unsatisfactory, stricter measures can be adopted.
The government wishes to call on stakeholders for their assistance in tackling the major challenge of choosing concrete, effective measures to reduce waste at the source.
In addition, the government will continue to collaborate with social economy enterprises working in residual materials management–particularly those oriented toward reuse–and maintain its support for them. In a complementary fashion, community social organizations will be called on to implement public education and awareness projects on source reduction and reuse.
To set an example, the government wants to commit itself to reducing residual materials generated by its activities at the source and putting in place mechanisms that allow it to give preference to businesses with similar practices when contracts or subsidies are awarded. It also intends to evaluate a variety of methods that would allow it to promote products with a long life cycle. In light of this evaluation, concrete measures can be proposed and adopted.
The government also wishes to take advantage of the issuing of authorizations by the Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks to make businesses aware of the need to reduce at the source the raw materials they use and respect the hierarchy of residual materials management methods.
To take into account source reduction, the Policy sets a quantitative goal expressed as kilograms of disposed waste per capita. While respecting the 4R-D principle, this approach solicits the equitable participation of all key societal stakeholders, from producers to consumers of goods and services.
O.C. 100-2011, s. 7.2
Discourage and monitor disposal
One conclusion drawn from the situation over the last 20 years is that despite major recovery and reclamation efforts, too many residual materials are sent for disposal. To counter this problem, the government intends to take measures to discourage the disposal of residual material and avoid the waste of resources.
Implementation of the Regulation respecting the landfilling and incineration of residual materials (chapter Q-2, r. 19) and the imposition of charges payable for the disposal of residual materials in 2006 promoted the recovery and reclamation of these materials by increasing disposal costs. However, disposal still costs less overall than recovering and reclaiming residual materials, particularly near large urban centers. The government wants to make reclamation more competitive by increasing disposal charges and investing the money in programs that promote recovery and reclamation.
If these recovery objectives are not reached, the government will assess whether it is appropriate to further raise the fees.
Although we can discourage the disposal of residual materials, we cannot eliminate it entirely, and the government intends to make sure that this activity is safe for human health and the environment.
The government also wishes to ensure that any new waste incinerator with a capacity of more than 2 metric tons an hour must comply with both the 4R-D hierarchy and recycling objectives. These new incinerators must be designed to recover the energy generated by the combustion process.
O.C. 100-2011, s. 7.3
Ban the disposal of organic material
In 2008, 12% of table scraps and yard waste generated by the municipal sector in Québec was recovered and reclaimed. The remainder was largely landfilled. The same year, 31% of municipal wastewater sludge and 26% of paper mill sludge was landfilled. When landfilled this waste decomposes, leading to a variety of harmful impacts on the environment, including greenhouse gas emission. Recycling these materials helps prevent these impacts while creating jobs and providing useful products as well as energy. The same is true of the rest of organic materials such as paper and cardboard, which mostly end up in landfills if not collected and recycled. To ensure that organic materials are managed with greater respect for the environment and in a way that spurs economic activity and helps meet the objectives of the Climate Change Action Plan and the Québec Energy Plan, the government wants to ban disposal of organic waste.
First, the necessary collection services and treatment facilities must be available. As paper, cardboard, and wood recycling is already well established, the government intends to begin by banning the disposal of these materials and follow up with other putrescible organic material, such as leaves, grass clippings, table scraps, and sludge. It will develop a timetable for implementing measures to speed up the establishment of the required collection systems and treatment facilities, as well as the terms of a ban, taking into account the features of certain methods for managing putrescible organic materials, including industrial and municipal sludge.
At the same time, the government wants to ensure that waste organic material diverted from disposal sites is handled in such a way as to maximize its value. Leaving grass clippings in place and household or community composting, both of which reduce at source the amount of putrescible organic materials to be managed, should be encouraged first. Non-putrescible organic material such as paper, cardboard, and wood should preferably be returned to the production cycle for these materials rather than used for other forms of reclamation, including energy production. Moreover, recycling of putrescible organic material by landspreading, composting and biomethanation with a view to enrich soils, must be favoured over other forms of reclamation such as energy recovery.
The government will help fund the necessary infrastructures to foster the recycling of putrescible organic materials. This financial support will encourage the development of biological treatment technologies that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It will take action to ensure that landspreading is permitted when conditions are safe for health and the environment, and it is beneficial agronomically. It will also promote the development of new uses and markets for compost and digester sludge. In addition, the government will ensure that treatment facilities for organic matter are properly managed.
The government also wants to make sure that treatment of residual organic matter produces energy to replace fossil fuels whenever environmental, social, and economic conditions permit.
O.C. 100-2011, s. 7.4
Make producers more responsible
Containers, packaging, printed material, and written media represent a significant proportion of the residual materials generated by households. Municipalities provide services for recovering and reclaiming these products. Under the Environment Quality Act (EQA) (chapter Q-2) , the industry must pay up to 50% of the net costs borne by the municipalities for these services. To bring this more in line with sustainable development principles, the government intends to make companies assume the entire cost of recovering and reclaiming containers, packaging, printed material, and written media.
Once companies have to pay the full cost, the government intends to assess whether they should also bear full responsibility for managing the program according to the principle of extended producer responsibility.
Municipal curbside collection services are often poorly adapted to materials that require special handling because of their hazardous nature, size, weight, or reclamation potential. Producers can more easily take charge of these materials at the end of their useful life and find appropriate management solutions. They can also design them to be more environmentally friendly. In keeping with the approach of extended producer responsibility, the government intends to gradually transfer responsibility for recovering and reclaiming residual materials from municipalities to producers.
Used tires are one of the products that require special handling. Because of the danger tires present, the government imposed a $3 environmental fee on the purchase of new tires and on the retail sale or lease of road vehicles equipped with new tires. This fee serves to fund the Québec Integrated Used Tire Management Program and the Program for the Emptying of Scrap Tire Storage Sites in Québec.
The government will maintain these 2 programs as well as the environmental fee on new tires until the storage sites are completely empty. Subsequently, the responsibility for managing used tires, including oversize and off-road vehicle tires, will be entrusted to producers based on to the extended producer responsibility approach.
O.C. 100-2011, s. 7.5
Support regional planning and performance
The regionalization of residual materials management is one of the major achievements of the 1998-2008 Québec Residual Materials Management Policy. It was given concrete expression through an amendment to the EQA requiring regional municipalities to develop residual materials management plans (RMMPs) and by the establishment of a government funding program for regional municipalities. The EQA also gave these municipalities a regional management role by requiring the RMMPs to cover all residual materials produced within their territory, including household, industrial, commercial, institutional, and other types of waste. Given that the RMMPs are one of the pillars of residual materials management, the government intends to ensure, after consulting partners, that they comply with this Policy and EQA requirements.
The EQA does not contain residual materials management provisions for Northern Québec, a vast region inhabited by approximately 40,000 people. Local and regional governments are well aware of the fragility of northern ecosystems and the importance of the sound management of residual materials for their development, and they have expressed their desire to manage them better. The government wants to support these governments in order to improve the management of residual materials in northern areas.
Though regional municipalities are responsible for planning residual materials management, the industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI), as well as the construction, renovation and demolition (CRD) sectors remain responsible for the waste they generate in a given area covered by a RMMP. They must support the cost of managing these wastes in accordance with the rules and activities provided for in the concerned RMMP.
In enforcing regulations, the government can support regional municipalities in planning residual materials management by giving the industrial, commercial, and institutional (ICI) sector obligations aimed at promoting achievement of Policy and action plan objectives.
However, municipalities can also take action with industrial, commercial and institutional stakeholders to promote achievement of these objectives. For example, they can adopt regulations, impose conditions on the granting of permits, or provide or share services.
In implementing their RMMPs, some local and regional municipalities have worked harder than others to achieve the Policy’s objectives. The government should take these efforts into account when redistributing funds to municipalities to encourage regional performance. Consequently, the Program of Redistribution to Municipalities of Charges Payable for the Disposal of Residual Materials will consider the global performance of all sectors in a given area and include criteria to enable to grouping of comparable regional municipalities. Based on this criteria, during the first 5 years of Policy implementation, the goal of reducing to 700 kg per capita the amount of waste sent for disposal throughout Québec will serve as a basis for calculating performance.
In order to encourage performance, government would like to recognize municipalities that achieve the best results and share this information with the public.
Residual materials recovered by municipalities should be transported to facilities that maximize their value and send the smallest amount possible on to disposal sites. The government wants to ensure that the sorting centers for recyclable materials are efficient and can appropriately meet market needs. To this end it intends to work in concert with various stakeholders to study the problems encountered in the sorting centers, including the standardization of accepted materials and the markets.
O.C. 100-2011, s. 7.6
Stimulate the performance of the ICI and CRD sectors
Over 40% of residual materials in Québec are generated by the industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) sector. Nearly half of these materials went to landfill sites in 2006. This shows that the Policy objectives cannot be met without major changes to how residual materials generated by the ICI sector are managed.
Although the construction, renovation and demolition (CRD) sector has generally surpassed the objectives of the 1998-2008 Québec Residual Materials Management Policy, this is largely due to the recycling of concrete, brick, asphalt, and stone, and to a lesser degree, wood. However, various materials produced by the building segment of the construction industry, such as wood, drywall, metals, asphalt shingles, carpets, insulation, and cardboard too often end up in disposal sites. We need to promote the recycling of these materials with high reclamation potential.
An increase in fees for the disposal of residual materials and the gradual ban on disposing of organic materials are measures that are likely to change how the ICI and CRD sectors manage their residual materials. The government also intends to earmark some of the income generated by these fees for making recycling in the ICI and CRD sectors more efficient. This support will mainly target measures for improving recycling outside the home, including putrescible organic materials, funding the development of technologies for reusing recovered materials, setting up and optimizing CRD recycling centers, and developing markets.
In the CRD sector, the government also wants to encourage municipalities to require, at the time permits are granted, that residual materials be sorted onsite or taken to a sorting center or to adopt regulations to this effect. For its part, the government intends to provide businesses with information on ways to meet the Policy requirements.
The government, which itself is a member of the institutional network, intends to model residual material management by implementing the 2008-2013 Government Sustainable Development Strategy.
The government should also use its purchasing power as an effective economic instrument for residual materials management to encourage ICI providers of goods and services to the government to manage their residual materials in an eco-responsible manner.
O.C. 100-2011, s. 7.7
Choose the most efficient collection system
Up until now, the public system of charging a deposit on single use containers–which targets the sale and distribution of beer and soft drinks–allowed for the recycling of a greater proportion of this type of container than municipal recovery programs. However, data from the last few years indicate that the latter could soon achieve the same results. Given equal performance levels, a number of factors weigh in favor of municipal recovery programs, particularly the lower cost and the recovery of materials apart from the containers. It is also a system already widely available to Québec households.
If it is shown that municipal recovery programs meet the Policy’s intermediary objectives, that its performance is equivalent to the deposit system for similar products, and that recovery services for soft drink containers outside the home are easily available and well distributed throughout the area, the government will consider abolishing the public deposit system.
However, the government wants to ensure that at least 70% of the containers on deposit are recycled. Above all, it wants to avoid a situation where municipal recovery programs performances match that of the deposit system at a level below a 70% recovery rate for containers of the same type. If during 2 successive years fewer than 70% of single use soft drink containers are recovered, the government will consider raising the deposit.
The beer industry, for its part, put a private deposit system in place, which enables it to recover and reuse its bottles. Single-use beer containers are governed, however, by the public deposit system. Abolishing the deposit on this type of container could lead the consumer to prefer them to returnable reusable bottles. Therefore, to promote the use of returnable reusable bottles, the deposit on single-use beer containers will be maintained if the deposit on soft drink containers is eliminated.
O.C. 100-2011, s. 7.8
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.
O.C. 100-2011, s. 7.9
Reporting on results
Managing residual matter is everyone’s concern and it is important that Quebecers stay informed about the results of such management efforts. The report on residual materials management in Québec published every 2 years is an indispensable tool that the government plans to keep. This report will help us maintain up-to-date knowledge on the various materials and provide the information necessary to monitor Policy and action plan objectives.
Furthermore, the report on residual materials management must contain reliable data. The government wants to ensure it has access to all information that may be useful in assessing the situation. Disposal site operators must therefore continue producing the data they are required to send to the government and must make this data easier to process. In addition those who recover, sort, process, recycle, or reclaim residual materials must report these materials.
Online information tools will make it possible to evaluate the progress of local and regional municipalities in residual materials management.
In addition, the vision of the partners working with the government to manage residual materials is important for optimizing Policy implementation. With this in mind, the government wants to promote discussion forums.
O.C. 100-2011, s. 7.10
Without appropriate funding, the Policy objectives could be compromised, depriving Québec of significant economic benefits in addition to harming the environment and social development. To ensure better funding, the government intends to improve its economic instruments for residual materials management, notably the Regulation respecting the charges payable for the disposal of residual materials (chapter Q-2, r. 43) and Regulation respecting compensation for municipal services provided to recover and reclaim residual materials (chapter Q-2, r. 10), and to amend the EQA in this regard.
The Program of Redistribution to Municipalities of Charges Payable for the Disposal of Residual Materials will remain the preferred method to support RMMP implementation. The government wants, however, to provide better funding of recovery and reclamation activities. For this purpose, the Policy recommends that businesses bringing products to market assume the full amount of this funding. The government intends to support the funding of action plans arising from the Policy and to collect fees earmarked for program implementation for determined periods.
To ensure that all of Québec’s regions benefit from the economic spinoffs arising from the sound management of residual materials, the Policy proposes putting a halt to waste and maximizing the added value of our residual materials in an environmentally responsible manner. Given that Québec is resolutely fighting against climate change, the Policy invites all Quebecers to join together in managing our residual materials for the benefit of current and future generations, therefore contributing to sustainable development.
O.C. 100-2011, s. 8
O.C. 100-2011, 2011 G.O. 2, 671
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