Almost $40 million contract awarded for recycling collection
Gatineau residents may have to look out for changes in recycling collection come May 30, as the City awarded a nearly $40 million contract to Environnement Routier NRJ for the next five years.
The signed partnership agreement with Éco Entreprises Québec was announced on February 7 during a Comité exécutif press briefing. Director of the water and residual materials department Chantal Marcotte told reporters the City would be 100 per cent compensated, compared to the previous 93 per cent.
“This agreement is excellent news for the City and for the population of Gatineau. It not only represents considerable savings, but it also greatly reduces our municipal responsibilities,” Gatineau Mayor France Bélisle said in a press release. “And above all, it puts the responsibility of recycling the materials in the hands of the producers. This is one more step toward the circular economy and a significant gain for citizens, who will no longer have to pay for the management of these materials.”
The City is expected to obtain nearly $750,000 annually in financial compensation for certain rendered services. On top of this amount, the City is to be reimbursed for all expenses related to the collection and transportation of recyclable materials as well as supply and repair of containers. Éco Entreprises Québec will also assume all administrative and financial costs related to sorting and packaging recovered recycling materials, information, awareness, and education activities. Marcotte was not able to specify whether it would be automated or manual collection but said not much should change for citizens. A one-month transition period was expected for citizens, but a communication campaign was to be on the way to show citizens how to bring their bins to the street and place them for collection.
Marcotte said merchants could currently recycle, but that it was more on a voluntary basis. Now, merchants will be regulated to recycle. “The City is ready to provide the service to anyone who wants it. Initially, we will be able to establish a user-pays principle,” she said. Once the service expands in 2027 for businesses and institutions and again in 2030 for industries, Éco Entreprises Québec will be responsible for servicing them.
Marcotte said several feet would be on the ground to assist in the transition. “There are people who are there to raise awareness, leave door hangers, explain to citizens how it works, and then be able to correct the situation in terms of their behaviour.”
Photo caption: Gatineau’s director of the water and residual materials department Chantal Marcotte addresses journalists’ questions regarding the new recycling contract on February 7.
Photo credit: Screenshot from Mêlée de presse of the Comité exécutif of the Ville de Gatineau on February 7