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Quebec recycling facility operator RSC folds due to lack of end market for paper

Contracted operator pulls out of four Quebec facilities, new operators required

recycled mixed paper closeup

According to a CBC report from January 24th, Rebuts solides Canadiens (RSC), a subsidiary of France-based TIRU and the owner of multiple recycling facilities in Quebec, including two serving the City of Montreal, said in a statement last week that it can no longer find a market for its recycled paper, is thus no longer profitable, and will cease their contracted operations at four recycling plants in the province. 

Rebuts solides Canadiens informed the City government January 24th that the company will no longer operate its four recycling centres across the province — including two used by the City of Montreal, which process about 160,000 tonnes of material per year, and two more in Châteauguay and Saguenay, Quebec. In Montreal, citizens have been instructed to continue to put out their recycling, as scheduled — but officials can't yet say who will be receiving them at the city's sorting centres.

"All the recycling operations will continue. For us, the most important is to keep the service for all the Montrealers," stated Jean-François Parenteau, the executive committee member responsible for city services and the environment. He said landfill is not an option and that the city is considering its options as it awaits formal notice about when and how the company will end its contract. Formal notice is expected this week. 

One of the four facilities affected by the decision made by Rebuts solides Canadiens is Montreal's newly opened facility in Lachine, as well as a centre in Saint-Michel. 

According to the CBC report, Opposition Ensemble Montréal Counsellor Francesco Miele said it is the city that should be saying how and when RSC will cease operations, and the administration has "lost control" of the situation.

He said the city appears to be "at the mercy" of its recycling operator, after spending millions of dollars to preserve the Saint-Michel sorting centre in 2018 and awarding the contract to operate the Lachine plant. Miele also said the city should consider, among other options, having a non-profit corporation run recycling services in Montreal. 

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