How do rural communities comply with Quebec's Organic Strategy?

Categories: 

by: 

Kevin Brady

Current Situation:

The Québec residual materials management strategy includes a progressive reduction and an eventual a 'ban' of organic material from municipal landfills by 2020. Municipalities that comply with the policy are eligible for funding to help offset the costs. As with the Municipality of Pontiac, many municipalities have chosen to pass resolutions to initiate door-to-door collection, with costs paid for by the residents.

Through communications with Philippe Coulombe at the Ministère du Développement durable, de l'Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques, it is understood that at present the 2019 target is 70% coverage to qualify for available funding. He also indicated the ministry is aware that a 100% target will pose challenges for rural communities. There will be further consultations on the strategy, so semi-rural municipalities still have the ability to propose better solutions to the province.
If better solutions are not proposed and accepted, it is possible that many semi-rural municipalities will end up with a costly system that may not actually benefit the environment but will penalize and annoy residents who currently compost at home. It will also mean that these residents will be subsidizing residents who choose not to compost at home.

Main Challenges:
1. Door-to-door collection makes sense in urban environments. However, in regions like the MRC des Collines where we have many homes, farms and equine operations spread across large land areas, it does not. In fact, the environmental and economic impact of sending trucks for door-to-door collection may very well outweigh any benefit. This would have to be verified by life cycle assessment and total cost analysis, but previous studies have noted organics collection in rural areas pose challenges. The current provincial strategy recognizes this by giving communities with a population of under 5,000 people more flexibility on their target.
2. Many people in the municipality already undertake composting at home, so they will have to pay for a service they do not need. This is also not in keeping with the "polluter-pay" principle in the provincial legislation. Door-to-door collection of organics will result in people who are doing the right thing (i.e. composting at home) paying for people who do not.
3. The new system does not address handling difficult components of the organic waste stream, such as animal meats and bones, food-contaminated cardboard and animal and human feces (such as soiled diapers).

Desired outcomes for mainly rural communities above 5,000 in population:
1. Optimize diversion of organic material from landfill at the lowest cost for ratepayers. The best program will reward diversion from landfill at source (the best option in the provincial policy) while putting costs on those who do not want to compost at home. This is in keeping with the "polluter-pays" principle.
2. Raising awareness of the impacts of waste and nudging residents toward great participation in creating a circular economy. A linear economy is a take-make-waste economy; a circular economy is one that ensures that valuable materials and products are recovered from the waste
system and organic materials are returned to the earth. Energy from waste is a possibility but not considered a primary strategy.

Approach with province:
• Ensure targets for collection properly include recognition of already-established home composting (i.e.: to not include collection targets based only on mere number of households covered).
• Ask for adjustments to provincial targets to make them based on population density, not absolute population.
• Recommend the province facilitates collaboration among semi-rural regions to optimize composting contracts and operations.
• Recommend the province support research and approaches for problematic components of the organics waste stream.

Approach in the Municipality and MRC:
• Provide an opt-out option for farmers and people composting: if you do not use the system, you do not pay.
• Conduct an education campaign to encourage home composting. Experience indicates that behaviour change regarding waste diversion requires investments to raise awareness on the importance and benefits of diversion and to provide strategies to optimize results.
• Focus any door-to-door collection on denser neighbourhoods and investigate innovative approaches to community composting.
• Institute penalties for non-compliance but, more importantly, emphasize the financial benefit of those already composting at home.
• Ensure that contracts with organic collection companies are not structured in ways that lock in the number of households or a set volume of waste.

Questions or comments?

Contact Kevin Brady and Sheila McCrindle

Phone:

Kevin: (613) 447 3451 or Sheila: (819) 319 9633

Email:
Brady@sustainableenterpriseconsulting.com
Sheila@demetercatering.ca

 

 

Nos autres nouvelles / Our other News

Roger Larose annonce sa candidature à la mairie de la municipalité de Pontiac… C’est le temps !

Categories: 

Ce fut un honneur de servir les citoyens de Pontiac comme conseiller. Ensemble, nous avons accompli plusieurs réalisations au cours de mes 11 ans d’échevinage, mais beaucoup reste à faire. C’est le temps pour un changement. ‘‘Je souhaite que, par mes efforts, j’ai gagné votre confiance et je sollicite votre soutien pour un mandat pour devenir votre nouveau maire.’’ ajoute le conseiller Larose.

Au cours de ses services au conseil, Larose a été un fier défenseur responsable à l’égard des dépenses publiques, du développement économique et de la protection environnementale, il s’est toujours fait un devoir d’être un porte-parole impartial pour tous les citoyens, même de ceux résidant hors de son propre quartier...

Roger Larose announces candidacy for Mayor of Municipality of Pontiac…It’s Time!

Categories: 

“It has been an honor to serve Pontiac citizens as a Councilor. Together we have accomplished a lot in my 11 years, but we still have work to do. It’s time for change.  I hope that through my efforts I have earned your trust and support for a term as your new Mayor.”  Larose said.

During his service on the council, Larose has been a strong advocate for fiscal responsibility, economic development and environmental protection, while serving as a voice for all citizens in Pontiac...

Accident majeur sur la route 148 à Pontiac

Categories: 

Le conducteur d’une Saturn, un homme de 32 ans de Gatineau, a perdu le contrôle de son véhicule. Il aurait percuté une Honda Accord qui circulait à sens inverse, conduite par une dame de 70 ans de Nepean. La Honda s’est retrouvée à l’envers dans le fossé. Les pompiers ont utilisé des pinces de désincarcération pour extirper la dame. On parle de blessures sérieuses, mais on ne craint pas pour sa vie.

Des affiches in English à Aylmer

Categories: 

Les dispositions de la Charte de la langue française n'empêchent aucunement l'affichage en anglais - ou dans toute autre langue - pour les messages politiques, ce qui inclut les affiches électorales. L'organisme Impératif français dénonce tout de même l'utilisation de l'expression « for Gatineau » sur certaines affiches du maire sortant.

All-Candidates Meetings

Categories: 

Mark your calendars for Saturday October 12 and Sunday October 20.

Did you know that 2013 is the year of the voter?

To provide an opportunity to citizens of the Municipality of Pontiac to know more about the candidates who have put their names forward for positions of mayor and councillors, all-candidates meetings are currently being planned for Saturday October 12 and Sunday October 20, 2013.  The meetings will be organized by members of Action Pontiac, along with other partners.

Marcel Lavigne 1930 - 2013

Categories: 

Marcel est décédé le mercredi 2 octobre 2013, paisiblement entouré des deux femmes de sa vie : son épouse Mariette Labine et sa fille Maryse (Yves Mercier et ses enfants Claudiane et Guillaume).

Il est parti rejoindre ses parents Edmond Lavigne et Corinne Pilon; ses beaux-parents Lionel Labine et Jeannette Lévesque; il laisse dans le deuil son frère Guy (feu Monique Renaud) et sa sœur Claire (André Renaud). L’ont prédécédé, ses frères et sœurs: Rolande (feu Jean-Paul), Rhéal (Denise), René (Jeannette), Donald (Claudette) et Annette (Gilbert).

Il laisse également ses beaux-frères de la famille Labine : Roberge (Feu Annette), Rogathe (Ernestine) et Serge (Catherine), «Flo» : une tante très chère ainsi que de précieux et nombreux neveux, nièces et amis proches.

Marcel prendra son dernier repos dans son cher village de Luskville, aux pieds des montagnes, surplombant les plaines d’Eardley et ses terres.

Pages