Quebec’s largest landfill forced to reject waste

The province’s largest landfill, located in La Chigny, is closing its doors to some customers for more than a month in order to avoid exceeding the annual load capacity allowed by Quebec. Affected customers no longer know where to turn, but the environment ministry is ensuring there is still room elsewhere.

Posted at 5:00 am

Frederic Xavier Duhamel

Frederic Xavier Duhamel

“We must, unfortunately, take the unprecedented step of temporarily halting the disposal of your files [matières résiduelles non dangereuses]from Monday 27 June to 31 July 2022″, can we read a notice from the Enviro Communications Consortium (CEC) sent on 17 June.

Residual generation is “significantly higher than expected and this, among other things, is the result of a strong economic recovery,” the CEC explains in the notice.

More than 1.3 million tons of waste was buried there in 2019, making it the largest technical landfill in the province. CEC is located in the Lachenaie sector of Terrebonne, and receives the remaining materials from Montreal, Laval and all of Montérégie, among others.

Photo by Oliver Jane, Press

CEC is located in the Lachenaie sector of Terrebonne, and receives the remaining materials from Montreal, Laval and all of Montérégie, among others.

“Cities haven’t received this advice,” however, confirms Michelle Bennett, senior director of government relations and business development at Waste Connections Canada, owner of CEC.

The closure affects only commercial customers and those with whom the site has no contractual obligation.

TTI Environment, which collects waste from clients such as Canada Post, Place Ville Marie and federal government buildings, is one of the companies affected. Its owner, Stefan Thewlis, can’t believe it.

“We are loath to find an outlet when all the landfills are already full! He shouted. There is a health problem that could get in the way of the waste collection system. I can’t tell Blas Ville Marie that I’m no longer carrying their waste.”

widespread trend

The Ministry of Environment, which grants annual payload licenses, sees no real problem with that.

“It is true that Lachini reached the cap set in her mandate a little bit faster than anticipated,” admits Martin Letourneau, the department’s director of land policy and sustainable development. However, “the information we have is that there is still room for maneuver to receive the remaining materials” at other locations in the region, he asserts.

However, the CEC is not alone in facing these difficulties. “We also certainly, if we continue to see the same trend, will be full before the end of the year,” says Yazan Cano, regional vice president of Matrec, which operates a landfill in Sainte-Cécile-de-Melton.

I think everyone is in the same situation.

Yazan Kanoo, Regional Vice President of Matrik

“We can confirm that we are currently reaching our maximum authorized annual capacities,” said Martin Dussault, director of public affairs for Waste Management (WM) Quebec, which operates landfills in Sainte-Sophie, Drummondville and Lachute. However, he made it clear that the company is able to honor its contracts, for now.

An application made at the last minute, says the ministry

Documents obtained Journalism It notes that a request to increase the CEC’s tonnage this year was submitted as early as February 4, which the ministry denies. The latter claims to have received the order at 1Verse June only, just over two weeks before the temporary closure notice. “The ministry will analyze the request on merit, we had additional documents last week, June 15,” said Mr Letourneau.

“The ministry has not adjusted accordingly, despite the fact that this crisis has been announced for months,” denounced an industry source who was not authorized to comment publicly on the file.

We have reached a breaking point. […] This is a county-wide crisis.

An industry source is not authorized to comment on the case publicly

This source fears that frustrated customers will come to dump their waste illegally on the roadside.

“We are actively working with the government of Quebec to meet the urgent and growing demand for waste generation that we see in Quebec,” the CEC says simply in response to requests from Journalism. Mr. Bennett, of Waste Connections, did not wish to proceed with the matter.

Industry says more waste to dispose of

In its report published last January on waste management in Quebec, the Bureau d’audiences Publishing in the Environment (BAPE) noted – based on 2019 data – that “the amounts of residual materials disposed of throughout the territory of Quebec have increased in Last few years .

The situation has since been exacerbated, according to industry stakeholders consulted, due to the disruptions associated with the pandemic and then the subsequent economic recovery.

“Since the beginning of the epidemic, technical landfills have noticed a significant increase in waste generated,” notes the Council of Environmental Companies of Quebec (CETEQ), whose members include CEC, WM and Matrec, in a statement sent in response to questions from Journalism.

However, the Ministry of Environment disputes these assertions and asserts, for its part, that “the quantities of materials disposed of in 2021 did not increase compared to 2019”.

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  • 724 kg/person
    Average amount of remaining material disposed of in 2019. This amount has not been observed since 2011.

    525 kg / inhabitant
    The average target quantity for 2023 by the Ministry of Environment and Combating Climate Change. BAPE considers achievement of the goal unlikely.

    source : inventory and final waste management, Bab Report, January 2022

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