On June 10, 2011, the National Assembly passed Bill 88 entitled An Act to amend the Environment Quality Act as regards residual materials management and to amend the Regulation respecting compensation for municipal services provided to recover and reclaim residual materials.  The amendments provide for a better definition of the concept of reclamation by replacing, in the former definition of the term “reclamation”, the word “composting” with “biological treatment, including composting and biomethanation, land farming”.

An order of precedence is also established in the treatment of residual materials; reduction at source is given priority by the Government.  The Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks is also given the power to delegate various responsibilities to Recyc-Québec with regards to the reclamation of residual materials.  This has come as good news following an initial announcement that Recyc-Québec would be wound-up into the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks.  Recyc-Québec now remains a separate entity from the Ministry.

The Act further amends the Environment Quality Act, as well as the Regulation respecting compensation for municipal services provided to recover and reclaim residual materials, in order to define the calculation method and the performance and efficiency criteria used to determine the annual compensation owed to municipalities by the persons who produce, market or otherwise distribute materials subject to compensation.  According to the amendments, the amount of compensation will be divided among the materials or classes of materials, according to the share allotted by the Government.  Recyc-Québec will have the responsibility of determining the annual amount of compensation on the basis of the information the municipalities will be required to send to it for that purpose.  One of the main amendments is the provision for an annual increase of the percentage of compensation owed to municipalities until full compensation of the admissible costs has been reached in 2013.  The percentage presently paid by designated stewards for certain materials listed in the Regulation is 50% of the costs of municipal services to recover and reclaim residual materials.  It is thus intended that this percentage will increase to 100% by 2013.