Recycling crisis in Montreal : the environment must be more than a slogan for the Plante administration
Following the disturbing revelations about recycling in Montreal, the Official Opposition is calling on the Plante administration to be accountable to Montrealers and to be more transparent on this issue. The elected officials of Ensemble Montréal will table a motion at the next City Council to request that the Environment Department hold a plenary session to present a game plan for improving the performance of Montreal’s recycling centers.
“Since 2018, nearly $35M in public funds have been disbursed by the City of Montreal to a company that went bankrupt and a new dysfunctional sorting center with over-contaminated bales sent to India. It’s time for the Plante administration to be accountable for its management and to demonstrate that the environment is not just a slogan for its party,” said Aref Salem, Leader of the Official Opposition.
The elected officials of Ensemble Montréal are all the more worried that the Plante administration’s answers to the journalists’ revelations reveal several contradictions. The person in charge of the environment and ecological transition on the executive committee, Marie-Andrée Mauger, said she was “speechless” when she saw the report by Enquête on the high contamination rate of Montreal’s bales, even though the administration receives monthly reports from Ricova. One can also wonder why the administration has triggered an audit several months ago as revealed by La Presse+ on February 6, if everything seemed to be going well in the sorting centers.
“The truth is that without the excellent investigative work of journalists, the Plante administration would have continued to make Montrealers believe that everything is fine when it comes to recycling. Do Montrealers recycle for nothing? Beyond the fine speeches about the environment, what is really being done? We want explanations and an action plan,” added Stéphanie Valenzuela, the Official Opposition’s environment critic.
The motion also asks for the disclosure of the reports sent monthly by Ricova to the City of Montreal and that the latter determine a clear timetable to drastically reduce the rate of contamination of the paper bales that leave the Montreal sorting centers.
A similar request was presented by Ensemble Montréal in 2020, but it was rejected following the vote of the majority of the elected officials of Projet Montréal. The Opposition calls on the administration to do things differently this year in order to restore the image of the city internationally and rebuild the confidence of Montrealers.