| Environmental Columns

Initiatives to reduce waste in businesses

The City of Pointe-Claire offers solutions for industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) establishments looking to reduce the amount of waste they send to landfill.

A recyclable material and organic waste collection service is offered free of charge to ICI establishments on the Pointe-Claire territory. Bins are provided by the City, and collections take place on Mondays between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Several materials that should not end up in landfills are recovered through these municipal collections to be recycled or composted. In the workplace, organic waste is mainly collected for the composting of food scraps and soiled fibres, such as tissues or napkins. Cardboard and paper, packaging, and plastic, metal or glass containers are also collected for recycling purposes.

In an effort to maximize the reduction of waste volume in landfills, the City of Pointe-Claire has become an ambassador for the Circuit Zéro Déchet (zero waste circuit). It encourages business owners to join and be listed on an interactive map of Québec businesses that offer bulk products or that agree to accommodate customers wanting to be served in their reusable containers. As an ambassador, the City covers the cost of the Circuit membership, which is normally paid by business owners. Businesses that join the Circuit receive a decal from the City that identifies them as an establishment that accommodates customers wanting to use their own containers. It is not necessary to be a 100% zero-waste business or only sell bulk products to join the Circuit. A business that agrees to serve its customers in reusable containers even if it’s not a common practice may still join the Circuit. The same goes for businesses that only fill the refillable containers that they sell.

Initiatives to reduce waste at the source such as Circuit Zéro Déchet are a way for citizens and businesses to take concrete steps to protect the environment.

Networks promoting the use of reusable cups also help to reduce waste at the source. In Canada, an estimated 1.5 billion coffee cups are discarded each year, most of which end up in landfills. To help solve this problem, consumers can opt for a reusable cup. For those who forget their cup or don’t want to buy one, refundable cup networks have emerged in recent months, allowing merchants to reduce the production of single-use cups. In this system, customers can be served in reusable cups, in exchange for a deposit or subscription, and bring them back to any of the network’s member businesses, who will clean them and put them back into circulation for its customers.

If you are a Pointe-Claire merchant and are interested in initiatives such as the Circuit Zéro Déchet or refundable cup networks, contact Public Works (514-630-1230 or tp@pointe-claire.ca) to join or get more information.