Automation of waste pick up: Gatineau faces changes
Gatineau’s next contract for waste pick-up is on the planning board. January 31 during the plenary committee, the Service de l’eau et des matières résiduelles (SEMR) presented the plan for the contract renewal and changes that will follow in the Waste Management Plan (PGMR). The current waste collection contract will expire on May 29, 2024. Calls for tenders for compost and garbage will soon be announced.
The proposed changes include separate collections of green waste brown bags, usually used for leaves, branches, etc. Currently, brown bags are collected alongside the brown compost Bins; however, for green waste, SEMR proposes two collections in the spring and three collections in the fall. For each collection, up to 20 bags of leaves and five bundles of branches would be allowed per household. It may also be possible for citizens to purchase another bin and mark it with a “V” to dispose of additional green waste.
Gatineau plans to introduce on-demand collection for bulky waste and bulky wood and metal articles. This model was successful in the pilot project that the city conducted in part of the Plateau sector last year. There would be nine bulky waste collections a year with a maximum of four items per collection day and no more than 12 articles per building. Residents would sign up for bulky waste collections, which Gatineau says will limit greenhouse emission as garbage trucks will only travel to the houses requesting the service. Gatineau says this mode of collection for bulky waste would also reduce Christmas tree collection to one day a year instead of two.
“So far, nothing is official,” said Gilles Chagnon, Lucerne Councillor. “The new Waste Management Plan (MRMP) is now in the City Council review phase. We are certainly sensitive concerning the environment and this new plan will change a few practices that are currently in place. We will meet our environmental targets.”
Provincial recycling regulation changes
On July 7 of last year, new regulations concerning recycling came into force. The regulations stated that producers who commercialize, sell, and distribute containers, packaging, or printed matter is fully responsible for creating, planning, and providing the financial support for a modern waste collection system. Quebec has assigned Éco Entreprises Québec (ÉEQ) as a management organization to represent producers.
This means that the contract for collecting recycling material will be separate from composting and garbage. Calls for tenders for the recycling contract will be announced later than for the other waste contracts. The period of negotiations between Gatineau and ÉEQ will take place from March to September of this year. These discussions may bring about more changes to the PGMR and may impact residents.
“We must adapt to new provincial legislation and new practices, while respecting our budget,” said Chagnon. “I am very sensitive to the concerns of citizens and know that I defend their point of view by taking these realities into account.”
The contract for composting and waste is set to be awarded in May and communication campaigns on new collection methods are set to start in the summer. Gatineau plans to start the transition to the new collection mode in May 2024.