UNDERSTANDING CURBSIDE RECYCLING AND WHO FINANCES THE PROGRAM
Curbside recycling is the door-to-door collection or voluntary deposit of containers and packaging made of paper, cardboard, glass, plastic, metal, printed matter and newspapers that we place in recycling bins.
To make recycling easier for Quebecers and encourage them to recycle more, most municipalities accept that recyclable materials be placed unsorted in recycling bins.
99% of Quebecers have access to municipal curbside recycling services.
A growing number of municipalities also offer curbside recycling services to businesses located street-side as well as to schools, small office buildings and institutions.
Compensation plan and program financing
The compensation plan, which is a result of the 2005 Environment Quality Act, creates a legal obligation for companies to finance the collection, transportation, sorting and conditioning of containers, packaging, printed matter and newspapers they market in Quebec.
Companies and organizations from the following sectors are subject to the plan: manufacturers of food products, durable and consumer goods, retailers, distributors, magazine editors and service providers including financial institutions, insurance companies, hotels and restaurants and transportation companies, as well as government offices that serve the public.
Currently, only products with containers and packaging intended for consumers are designated by the compensation plan. Containers and packaging used in transactions between businesses are not designated.
For contribution year 2013, companies are shouldering 100% of the cost of collecting, transporting, sorting and conditioning recyclable materials.
Some products, such as utensils and television sets, are not designated by the curbside recycling compensation plan because they are not containers or packaging. Newspapers are also a designated material under the compensation plan. Their producers are represented by Recyclemédias, which is another RECYC-QUÉBEC-certified financing organization. Since 2005, they have paid their contribution in the form of ad space dedicated to materials recovery. Since 2013, they must provide financial compensation.
When companies that generate designated products or services do not have an establishment in Quebec, the responsibility for paying a contribution is shouldered by retailers or distributors.
What is considered printed matter?
The Environment Quality Act defines printed matter as newsprint inserts and circulars, catalogues and magazine-type publications, telephone directories, paper for general use such as photocopier and loose-leaf paper and other printed matter distributed to consumers, including account statements, promotional calendars, printed safety information or assembly instructions for packaged products and lottery tickets.
Daily and weekly newspapers constitute another class of materials and are represented by their own financing organization, Recyclemédias.