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Residual materials management

RESIDUAL MATERIAL MANAGEMENT - A STRATEGY BASED ON BIOMETHANIZATION

COMPULSORY COLLECTION OF ORGANIC MATERIALS (COMPOSTING) - PROHIBITING ORGANIC WASTE IN LANDFILLS

Organic waste represents a huge energy potential in Quebec. A Green government will make the collection of organic materials mandatory for all residents. This waste will be exploited through bio-methanization infrastructures built locally and which remain public property. Part of it will also be used for local / urban garden / agriculture projects and for the national greenhouse project.

The biogas generated by organic waste is interchangeable with natural gas and can be used to replace fossil fuels in heavy road transportation and even in appropriately equipped cars.

The introduction of bio-methanization technologies will make it possible to capture methane emissions (a greenhouse gas four times more powerful than CO2) while reducing our consumption of fossil fuels. Quebec has everything to gain by investing in the recovery of organic materials.

INVESTING MASSIVELY IN BIOGASIFICATION OF WASTEWATER

In Quebec, almost all wastewater treatment centres burn fossil fuels to incinerate wastewater residue. This way of doing things is simply obsolete. New, privately developed technologies are already in place in many cities allowing treatment centres to generate renewable energy and fertilizer that can be used for agriculture. The Green Party of Quebec supports a massive wastewater recycling program across Quebec.

CAPTURING AND REUSING EMISSIONS FROM EXISTING LANDFILLS

Existing landfills contain large amounts of organic material that emits methane, a greenhouse gas four times more powerful than CO2. In Lachute, emissions are captured and upgraded. The Quebec Green Party supports the spread of this technology to all existing landfills in Quebec where the gas capturing potential is high.

INVESTING MASSIVELY IN LOCAL RECYCLING AND THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY

Quebec is going through a major crisis in the field of recycling, provoked by China's refusal to accept our paper and cardboard. The main contributing factor to this crisis is the lack of local capacity to deal with waste. This lack of infrastructure means that we are in no way able to exploit our own recycling. To remedy the situation, the Green Party of Quebec supports major public investments in recycling infrastructure to promote the circular economy, provide local jobs and contribute to a responsible environmental policy. Our goal will be to completely eliminate the export and burying of recyclable materials for the benefit of local industry.

REDUCING CONSUMPTION OF GOODS WITH ECOTAX

Although Quebec already imposes an eco-tax on certain products such as electronics, the amounts are not sufficient to encourage the purchase of more sustainable products or adequately fund their complete recycling after use. For these reasons, the Green Party of Quebec proposes to spread the number of products subject to environmental taxes and to increase the tax amount.

ELIMINATING PLANNED OBSOLESCENCE

One of the big problems with our current consumption system is the quality and durability of the products we use. Several companies, especially those producing electronic products, design their goods by purposely limiting their life expectancy or by preventing any repair. This practice forces consumers to replace their goods more frequently, increases the amount of waste produced and contributes to pollution in a variety of ways. To fight against this practice, the Green Party of Quebec proposes to:

  • Eliminate small throw-away household appliances by gradually extending the warranty on almost all of these products to ten years by focusing on both their design and the availability of spare parts. This essentially means designing modular objects composed of easily removable and exchangeable subassemblies.
  • Adopt minimal resistance criteria covering, among other things, robustness, repairability and scalability for each product category as soon as they are designed.
  • Value repair rather than exchange.
  • Encourage the voluntary labeling of products (in terms of shelf life) as a competitive advantage for businesses.
  • Create financial incentives by reducing the GST and QST on clothing, electrical and electronic equipment repairs by 50% to put an end to a system in which repairing a product costs more than the purchase a new model at a low price.
  • Change existing regulations to include prohibition of planned obsolescence.

In the specific case of mobile devices, we propose to :

  • Allow the reversibility of operating system updates.
  • Extend the warranty period from 2 to 4 years for mobile phones, and improve consumer information about its existence and content.
  • Impose penalties when phone manufacturers make batteries irremovable in order o eventually eliminate this practice.

EXPANDING BOTTLE AND CAN DEPOSITS

The system of deposit and return is controversial; many think it should simply be abolished. At the Green Party of Quebec we believe that not only must this system be maintained, but it must be expanded. It is important to note that bottle and can deposits represent a significant source of income for many low-income and homeless people: to eliminate this income source would be a serious mistake. We want to incorporate more products into the deposit system. A Green government will first increase the current amount to 20 cents, in an effort to make recycling more efficient and incomes more attractive. We also want to introduce a deposit on wine and spirits bottles as quickly as possible. For example, a deposit of 25 cents on the bottles sold by the SAQ could be refunded via the loyalty card when returning the bottles to the deposit points. We also want to modernize existing sorting centres to make the process more efficient, and fund research to find new opportunities and ways to maximize glass recycling.

Green Party of Quebec