The Montreal executive committee dismisses the residual materials management company that oversees the Lachine borough’s sorting and recycling center.
Ricova Services Inc., an industry giant, will be replaced by Société VIA, with the transition to the new company taking effect no later than Nov. 14, the city said in a statement Friday.
The city’s environmental manager will determine the exact date in the best interests of the city, according to the release.
“We know that materials have been accumulating for several weeks at the Lachine sorting centre. Faced with the serious and imminent risk of a shutdown of the sorting center’s activities, the City acted quickly to resolve the situation,” said Marie-Andrée Mauger, Director General. of the ecological transition and the environment to the executive committee, in the press release.
Société VIA is a non-profit organization that promotes the hiring of people with functional limitations. The organization has significant expertise in the operation of sorting centers as it manages others in the province, the statement said.
The VIA Company will create new adapted jobs in the Montreal region, affirms the president and general manager of the organization.
“For us, two priorities remain: bringing our social mission to life, while ensuring optimal and efficient sorting of recyclable materials,” he said in the statement.
Earlier this week, Ricova issued a statement saying that there is not a sufficient market in Quebec for all the volume recycled in the province, in particular because the materials recovered at the source are highly contaminated. Ricova says he told Montreal two years ago that the equipment at the Lachine sorting center was inadequate for the job
Ricova will ensure full cooperation with Montreal while upgrading its own equipment to serve other municipalities, the statement said.
Montreal says people can reduce their waste
Montreal says people can help reduce waste by using reusable bags, buying in bulk and avoiding over-packaged items.
People can also help by refusing door-to-door flyers, known as Publisacs, by putting a sticker on their mailbox, the city said. These bags of advertising flyers will be banned next May.
Earlier this week, Mayor Valérie Plante told the City’s Executive Committee that recyclable materials “have been piling up for several weeks” at the sorting center because the company has been unable to dispose of its bales on the export market.
She said city attorneys announced on Tuesday that she wanted to terminate the contract and bring in a new operator.
In an earlier press release, City spokesperson Marikym Gaudreault said that “everything is being done to ensure the continuity of operations in Lachine.”
“Discussions are currently underway between the two parties and there are signals that Ricova will agree to cooperate on a successful transition,” Gaudreault said.
History of the controversy
In June, Montreal banned Ricova from bidding on contracts for the next five years, although the decision did not affect existing contracts with the city.
Ricova Services Inc., based in Brossard, Quebec, has been operating Montreal’s two recycling sorting centers since 2020, in Lachine and Saint-Michel, and performs selective collection in two boroughs of the city.
It also holds collection contracts with several municipalities in the Montreal region.
In a report earlier this year, city inspector general Brigitte Bishop alleged the company failed to pay Montreal its fair share of recycling profits.
She said Ricova Services Inc. sold recyclable materials to one of its sister companies, Ricova International Inc., which then sold them to outside buyers at a higher price.
In total, the report alleges Ricova withheld more than $1 million it owed the city for recycled materials it sold over a 12-month period.
She recommended the city bar the company from bidding on contracts for five years and cut ties with the company “as soon as possible.”