Québec's Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks, tabled the Québec Draft Residual Materials Management Policy (Draft Policy) and its proposed Action Plan 2010-2015 on November 16, 2009. Unlike its predecessor the Québec Residual Materials Management Policy 1998-2008, the Draft Policy is intended to be perennial and will be supported with five year action plans.
The main objective of the Draft Policy, if adopted, will be to bring the amount of waste that remains to be eliminated in the Province by disposal down to 700 kg per person, to recycle 70% of residual paper, cardboard, plastic, glass and metal, to treat 60% of organic matter using biodegradable agents, to recycle or upgrade 80% of concrete, brick and asphalt waste and to send 70% of building construction, renovation and demolition residual materials to sorting stations. Although the policy does not have force of law, it provides an indication of where the Québec Government stands regarding the management and, namely, the reduction of residual materials generated in the province.
In order to reach the objective set by the Draft Policy, the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks proposes ten (10) strategies among which the most noteworthy are:
- the intention to amend the Environment Quality Act to clarify the priority given to the hierarchy of the 3 RV-E principles (reduce, reuse, recycle, adding value, elimination) with respect to the recovery and reclamation of residual materials.
- obtaining stakeholders' views with respect to source reduction and reuse of materials with the view of extending the service life of products while discouraging the use of those with a short life cycle and, in so doing, obtain commitments towards reducing the quantity of packaging and limiting the use of materials that are more difficult to recycle.
- prohibit the burying of paper and cardboard in landfill sites and develop a strategy to foster composting and methane collection from biomass.
- prescribe a framework determining compensation payable by industry for municipal recovery and reclamation services of recyclable materials whereby enterprises would assume the entire cost of recovering and reclaiming containers, packaging and print media and determine if enterprises should bear full responsibility for managing, recovery and reclamation programs.
- increase inspections of landfill sites and impose obligations for waste site operators to support the cost of managing the site after its closure.
The Draft Policy is subject to a comment period for stakeholders until February 23, 2010. The Draft Policy can be accessed on the Ministry's site at http://www.mddep.gouv.qc.ca/