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Towns fight law that would reduce their recycling allowance

Vaudreuil-Dorion Mayor Guy Pilon calls it the Cherry Blossom phenomenon.

He said food companies keep their boxes and bags the same size, but the contents keep getting smaller.

“When I was young, Cherry Blossoms were my favourite,” he said. “It used to be that it would be tight in the box. Now, the box is the same size to give you the impression that the Cherry Blossom is just as big, but it is much smaller.”

Pilon said companies that produce packaging should pay for it to be recycled.

However, if a proposed law is approved, the province’s polluter-pay model will reduce compensation to cities by 7.5 per cent for recycling costs, warns the Union of Municipalities in Quebec.

The law proposed in the National Assembly by the Parti Québécois government would scale back the amount that industries must pay to cover the cost of recycling. This comes after polluting industries complained that about 15 per cent of what is recycled are materials that they don’t produce.

However, Salaberry-de-Valleyfield Mayor Denis Lapointe said the companies were already not covering the true cost of recycling. He estimates that they only pay about 85 per cent of the true cost of recycling.

“We’re doing the work of the companies,” Lapointe said. “It’s up to them to compensate us for all of it.”

He added that the companies aren’t actually paying the tab for recycling, since the cost is often passed on to consumers.

“When you buy a television, for example, you’re paying a certain amount for the box to be recycled,” he said, adding that if municipalities are forced to pay more, consumers will end up paying twice for certain items to be recycled.

Pilon agreed that cities don’t get enough to cover the cost of recycling.

“(Industries) should pay more,” Pilon said. “We’ll fight for that, for sure.”

The UMQ will be taking its case to the province, and will look into pressure tactics to get its point across, Lapointe said.

jmagder@montrealgazette.com
Twitter: @OffIslandNews
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One comment

  1. The companies choose all the details of the packaging they use for their products, we pay for the products, and now we will have to pay more to recycle packaging we did have any input in? Nope, not fair. If the companies don’t want to foot what should be their share (and community responsibility) of recycling costs, they should look into reducing the packaging accordingly. Here’s an example: I bought 2 pairs of sneakers online from the same shoe store. They were two highly recognized brands. The cheaper pair came in a huge blue and silver cardboard box with lots of pretty white tissue paper, plastic shoe molds and what I call shoe stuffing. It was a mess to sort and recycle (and throw out). The more expensive pair of shoes (10$), from the “higher-end” brand, came in a reusible canvas bag surrounded by a thin cardboard sleeve. That thin sleeve was all that I needed to recycle, and I have used the bag many times already. Which company of equally nice shoes do you think impressed me more?

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