December 10, 2023

The Queens County Citizen

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A new extended deposit recovery system is taking shape in Quebec

A new extended deposit recovery system is taking shape in Quebec

There will be 1,500 collection points to collect returnable containers. Most of them will be at retailers and a few hundred drop-off points will be created across the province.

At the end of various pilot projects, the Quebec Association for the Recovery of Beverage Containers wants to install automated collectors with collection points at retailers. Machines are becoming available that can detect whether containers are metal, plastic, glass or cardboard. So, machines that can process all materials.

The association’s president and general manager, Normand Bisson, affirms that the system allows users to receive immediate reimbursement of deposit money for containers through the machine.

There are two types of recovery system

At the new drop-off centres, the Association Québécois de Recovery des Containers d’GES wants to set up a two-way recovery system. There will be automated recuperators where all materials can be recovered from an extended deposit and a machine where people can bag reclaimed containers.

Citizens are given a choice. Drop the bags rather than lining up in front of the machine and entering the containers one by one. […] The idea is to allow both. »

A quote from Normand Bisson, CEO of the Quebec Association for the Recovery of Beverage Containers

To access the service, which allows containers to be dropped off more quickly at the new drop-off centers, consumers must register to create a customer account and obtain a UPC code on a computer system or digital platform.

Mr Bisson said the system saves people time when they go to the drop-off centre. There is a person who reads the UPC code on the bag and places the containers in the bag onto a piece of equipment. He separates, sorts, counts and compacts the containers.

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Customers will be reimbursed via electronic transfer within a week of depositing the containers.

At retailers, where there are automated cash registers, people can receive their cash back immediately. We have chosen two methods as some citizens prefer to have reimbursement in cash.

Target: November 1, 2023

According to the Quebec Association for the Recovery of Beverage Containers, the collection points will begin to be implemented in the next few months to be ready for the new extended deposit effective date of November 1, 2023.

There are several projects at the same time with a very tight deadline of November 2023. »

A quote from Normand Bisson, CEO of the Quebec Association for the Recovery of Beverage Containers

Mr Bisson says the challenges for his company are great.

In terms of modernization, he said, it is really a big challenge because it can run the system on schedule. There is the question of setting up special places of return […]But all these places must be interconnected, so in terms of information technology, the entire infrastructure needs to be developed.

When the extended deposit comes into effect, approximately 5 billion containers per year will be subject to deposit. Currently, 2.5 billion containers of beer and soft drinks are reimbursed.

Normand Bisson manages that we enter into agreements with transport companies to transport all containers to be recovered and to conclude agreements with recyclers.

We must make sure that the material we are going to recover is recycled because there is no point in recovering the material if it is not recycled. We want to make sure the system workssaid Stéphane Lacasse, vice president of the Food Retailers Association.

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The Food Retailers Association is still asking Environment Minister Benoit Charette to postpone the reform of the deposit until January 1, 2025. Mr. Lacasse fears that service could be disrupted if Quebec goes ahead with the extended deposit on Nov. 1. plan

That’s a lot of volume, our warehouses aren’t built for it. […] We reach saturation very quickly in stores, he said. Retailers will be forced to reject containers with a new deposit. We, if given a choice between storing food to serve to our customers or storing containers, we would choose to store food to serve to our customers first.

Stéphane Lacasse fears there is a shortage of truckers to pick up the recovered containers and transport the materials to sorting centers.

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