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MRC consults citizens on waste management

The MRC du Haut-Saint-Laurent is talking trash, and it wants your help.

It will be holding a public consultation on its draft residual materials management plan (PGMR) for the region on March 12. The document, which is focused on managing and reducing all types of waste generated within the 13 municipalities of the Haut-Saint-Laurent, was adopted by the regional council of mayors on January 17 for a period extending to 2031.

Émilie Escafit, the MRC’s waste management coordinator, began revising the regional government’s plan last spring. The PGMR provides a regional portrait of waste management, determines the orientations and objectives pursued by the MRC, and establishes the means and actions to be implemented to achieve them. The plan is bound by the provincial Environment Quality Act, as well as by the objectives of the Quebec Residual Materials Management Policy, its 2019-2024 Action Plan, and the government’s plan to recover organic waste.

“Despite these government targets, the PGMR allows for the consideration of regional realities in achieving government objectives,” says Escafit, noting the deadlines for reaching certain targets have been adjusted to take elements particular to the MRC into account. These include budgetary restrictions, relatively low residual materials output, vast distances for collection, and limited human resources.

The document includes an inventory of residual materials generated within the MRC at the residential, institutional, commercial, and industrial levels, as well as construction, renovation, and demolition waste. It also features a territorial diagnosis based on the inventory and previous PGMR, clear objectives, and an action plan. Escafit confirms the action plan was drawn up in collaboration with the MRC’s waste management committee, following multiple consultations with the municipalities.

A series of regional objectives were established. Some highlights include measures to reduce the quantity of disposed materials to 525 kg per capita by 2031, by encouraging actions to reduce waste generation at the source. The MRC aims to provide access to organic waste management services in the residential and institutional, commercial, and industrial sector across 20 per cent of the territory by 2027, with the long-term goal of recycling 60 per cent of organic waste by 2031. The MRC also aims to recycle 70 per cent of waste generated through construction, renovation, and demolition. In all, the updated PGMR presents 34 measures within the action plan spread over the next seven years.

The document is accessible online on the MRC website, while paper versions can be read at the MRC office in Huntingdon and at any of the municipal town halls across the region.

The public is invited to comment on any section of the document during the public consultation evening on March 12. Citizens are welcome to present suggestions on improving composting services, access to ecocentres or drop-off sites, or curbing waste generation in all sectors. Citizens, groups, and organizations may also submit briefs to the MRC before March 4 by mail, or by email to emilie.escafit@mrchsl.com.

Escafit says all comments will be considered, and the document can be modified accordingly before it is finalized. The meeting will take place in the council room of the MRC du Haut-Saint-Laurent in Huntingdon, starting at 8 p.m.

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