Rejected rejections |  Quebec's largest landfill almost to the brim

Rejected rejections | Quebec’s largest landfill almost to the brim

The province’s largest landfill, located in Lachenaie, closes its doors to certain customers for more than a month to avoid exceeding Quebec’s authorized annual tonnage capacity. The affected clients no longer know where to turn, but the Ministry of the Environment assures that there is still room elsewhere.

Posted at 5:00 am

Frederik Xavier Duhamel

Frederik Xavier Duhamel

“We must, unfortunately, take the unprecedented step of temporarily halting the removal of his [matières résiduelles non dangereuses]starting Monday, June 27 and running through July 31, 2022,” read a statement from the Enviro Connections Complex (CEC) sent on June 17.

The generation of residual materials “is much higher than expected, this being, among other things, caused by the strong economic recovery,” explains the CCA in the opinion.

More than 1.3 million tons of waste were buried there in 2019, making it the largest technical landfill in the province. Located in the Lachenaie sector of Terrebonne, the CEC receives waste materials from Montreal, Laval and all of Montérégie, among others.


Located in the Lachenaie sector of Terrebonne, the CEC receives waste materials from Montreal, Laval and all of Montérégie, among others.

“Cities haven’t gotten this advice,” however, says Michel Binette, senior director of government relations and business development for Waste Connections Canada, which owns the CEC.

The closure only affects business customers and those with whom the site has no contractual commitment.

TTI Environnement, which collects waste from clients including Canada Post, Place Ville Marie and federal government buildings, is one of the companies affected. Its owner, Stéphane Théolis, can’t believe it.

“We are obnoxious looking for a way out when all the landfills are already full! she exclaims. “There is a health problem, it could hinder the waste collection system. I can’t tell Place Ville Marie that I no longer collect their waste. »

A general trend

The Ministry of the Environment, which grants authorizations by annual tonnage, does not see any real problem in this.

“It is true that Lachenaie reached the maximum expected in its authorization a little faster than expected,” admits Martin Létourneau, general director of land policies and sustainable development of the department. However, “the information we have is that there is still room for maneuver to receive residual materials” at other sites in the region, he maintains.

However, the CEC is not alone in facing these difficulties. “It is certain that we too, if we continue to see the same trend, we will be full before the end of the year,” said Yazan Kano, regional vice president of Matrec, which operates a landfill in Sainte-Cécile-de-Milton.

I think everyone is in the same situation.

Yazan Kano, Regional Vice President of Matrec

“We can confirm that we are currently reaching the maximum authorized annual capacities,” said Martin Dussault, director of public affairs for Waste Management (WM) Quebec, which operates landfills in Sainte-Sophie, Drummondville and Lachute. However, he specifies that the company is in a position to honor its contracts, for the time being.

A request made at the last minute, says the Ministry

Documents obtained by Press they suggest that a request was made as early as February 4 to increase CEC’s tonnage this year, which the Department denies. The latter claims to have received the request on 1Ahem June only, just over two weeks before the temporary closure notice. “The Ministry will analyze the request on merit, we had additional documents last week, June 15,” Létourneau said.

“The Ministry has not adjusted accordingly, despite the fact that this crisis has been announced for months,” denounces a source from the sector who was not authorized to comment publicly on the file.

We have reached a breaking point. […] This is a crisis throughout the province.

An industry source who was not authorized to comment on the case publicly

This source fears that frustrated customers will come to dispose of their residual materials illegally, on the side of the roads.

“We are actively working with the Government of Quebec to meet the growing and urgent demand for waste generation that we are seeing in Quebec,” the CEC simply states in response to requests for Press. Mr. Binette of Waste Connections did not want to go any further on this issue.

More waste to dispose of, says industry

In its report published last January on waste management in Quebec, the Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement (BAPE) noted, based on 2019 data, that “the amounts of waste materials disposed of throughout Quebec have increased in recent years.

A situation that has since worsened, according to the industry players consulted, due to the convulsions linked to the pandemic and then to the subsequent economic recovery.

“Since the start of the pandemic, technical landfills have noted a significant increase in the waste generated,” says the Conseil des entreprises en technologies environnements du Québec (CETEQ), whose members include the CEC, WM and Matrec, in a statement sent in response to questions from Press.

But the Ministry of the Environment denies these claims and maintains for its part that “the quantities of materials eliminated in 2021 have not increased compared to 2019.”

More information

  • 724 kg per capita
    Average amount of residual materials disposed of in 2019. This amount has not been observed since 2011.

    Average quantity forecast for 2023 by the Ministry of the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change. BAPE is of the opinion that achievement of the target is unlikely.

    FONT : The inventory and management of final waste, BAPE REPORT, JANUARY 2022

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