Recycling at the crossroads
Photo courtesy Soleno
This truck removing the polyethylene from the sorting centres to the factory Soleno at Yamachiche, in the Mauricie region. On-site, 65 people with disabilities influence the plastic so that it could be transformed into high value-added products. This material has a lifespan that can exceed 100 years.
Anne Caroline Desplanques
Friday, 9 February 2018 22:35
Friday, 9 February 2018 22:35
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Quebec has become dependent on China to treat its recyclable materials, because it has lost its know-how in terms of recycling, according to two experts in the sector of the plastic.
“Strength to the poor, it is that it makes “, critical Louis Métivier, president of Recyc RPM, a giant in the field of recycling of plastic, which has closed in 2014.
According to him, the sorting centers still have a way to go to provide a quality recyclers. He explains that too much of what they bought ended up in the trash.
“It cost us $ 100 000 per month to get rid of the discards,” he said. Releases, these materials are too contaminated to be reused. The primary source of this contamination, he says, are the shards of glass tiny, which interfere everywhere.
In addition to Recyc RPM, seven other companies in plastic recycling have closed their doors, including Berou International, Solplast and Polychem.
Loss of expertise
“Now, we are dependent more than ever on other countries, such as China, with which we must monetize our material,” says the president-director general of the Council of sustainable industries, Pierre Fillion.
In the Face of the closure of the chinese market, Recyc-Québec has committed $ 3 million to improve the quality and quantity of the materials that leave the sorting centers and foster “better alignment” between the sorters and recyclers.
In addition, since September, in the framework of a pilot project for Eco-Entreprise Québec, five sorting centers have installed new equipment for the glass to eliminate contamination.
“Quebec must do more to ensure that the recyclable materials recovered on its territory are packaged and recycled as possible in Quebec,” says Sonia Gagné, interim CEO of Recyc-Québec.
Ex-CEO of the Federation of plastics and alliances composites, Mr. Fillion is estimated that the slope will be difficult to reassemble, because with the wave of business closures, ” we have lost the infrastructure transformation, the industrial park, it is serious “.
But Guillaume Villemure, director of procurement at Soleno, is rather optimistic. With simple bottles of laundry recovered, his company creates a finished product with high added value, which was not the case of companies that have closed, ” he says.
“The business model has changed a lot since the wave of closures and sorting centres are much better than before,” he says, indicating that, although real, the contamination by the glass does not cause him headaches.
According to him, the closure of the chinese market will be turned into an opportunity for recyclers to quebecers and citizens play a key role in the success of the turn.
“It is the citizen who is my main supplier, insists Mr. Villemure. Each bottle that puts it in the tray, it is matter in the least that I need to purchase to the petrochemical industry. “
Think about recycling before designing a product
Photo courtesy Soleno
Businesses to come together to limit the waste of resources in the design of their products, in order to close the landfill.
“We want zero landfill site, this is what we aim for,” says the president-director general of the Council of sustainable industries (CID), Pierre Fillion.
To achieve this, the CID will launch in the spring of the first certification program to choose eco-friendly in North America.
It will require companies who wish to benefit by reviewing the whole life cycle of their products : from the selection of raw materials to reuse.
The member companies need for example to do the hunting down waste, reduce transportation, and use of recycled materials and environmentally friendly materials to develop new products themselves recyclable.
“Most of the question to say : “we push our products on the market and let the market cope with end-of-life”. We want to empower the producers, ” insists Mr. Fillion.
The companies must therefore ensure that there is a recycler that is able to give a second life to their products, even before the beginning of the marketing.
Ten companies have already joined the project, which is in the works for four years.
Among them, the company Soleno, which uses plastic from separate collection in the manufacture of gigantic pipes, for example used by municipalities to manage the rain water.
Guillaume Villemure, director of procurement at Soleno, explains that the certification eco-friendly is very rewarding for its employees and its brand.
It is hoped that it will open up new markets for its products made of recycled materials. Mr. Fillion is confident that consumers will themselves require products that are certified eco-friendly.
♦ One million tons of recyclable materials are received by the sorting centres in Québec every year, according to Recyc-Québec.