Éco Entreprises Québec (ÉEQ), in collaboration with GFL Environmental’s division Matrec, has commenced the construction of a new materials recycling facility in Montreal, Canada.

The beginning of construction was marked by an official ground-breaking ceremony held at the facility, located in the East End of the island of Montreal, at the Montréal-Est industrial district on Sherbrooke Street East.

The event was attended by Quebec’s Environment, the Fight Against Climate Change, Wildlife and Parks Minister Benoit Charette along with other officials and company representatives.

Scheduled to become operational by January 2025, the recycling facility is to be equipped with sorting systems and be able to perform traceability processes, capitalising on local expertise and technologies.

Once open, the facility is expected to support the modernisation of Montreal’s kerbside recycling programmes.

Charette said: “When operational, the centre will sort 150,000 tonnes [t] of containers, packaging and printed paper annually, thus diverting it from landfill.

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“That’s no small achievement when you consider that sorting centres currently process about one million tonnes of recyclable materials a year in Quebec.

“Our government is working alongside a number of key players like these so that, together, we can manage our waste more sustainably, both by reducing at the source and by optimising reuse, recycling and valorisation.”

The facility is set to employ approximately 100 workers.

In Quebec, roughly 800,000t of recyclable materials are recovered every year via kerbside recycling programmes.

According to ÉEQ, an additional transition plan will be implemented to redirect the collected materials from Complexe Environnemental St-Michel, which processes and converts waste, to Matrec.

This transitioning will take place between the end of CESM’s current operating contract and three months ahead of the start of activities at the future sorting centre from 1 October 2024.

ÉEQ president and CEO Maryse Vermette added: “The agreement in place with Matrec – GFL will ensure the project is carried out in accordance with best practices and sets new standards to close the loop in the circular economy.”