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Why proper sorting and recovery is key

It all starts with your blue bin

Placing the correct recyclable materials in your bin is the first step in the recovery process. By the end of their journey, these same materials become new products. 

Being mindful of what we send to the sorting centre has a direct impact on the entire recycling system. It help ensure the safety of employees and the efficiency of operations. For the system to function properly, all of Quebec must do its part.

The effects of poor sorting

sorting centre reader

On the sorting centre equipment

After being placed in the bin, the recovered recyclable materials arrive at the sorting center, where equipment and employees sort them in several stages. The goal is to remove everything that can't be recycled or might jam or break the equipment mechanisms, catch fire or explode. Propane tanks and lithium batteries fall into this category. In the event of a fire or breakdown, the whole sorting line stops. This situation is more common than one might think. Materials accumulate and this causes delays on the whole system. Its a risk that needs to be taken seriously. 

Quebec sorting centre

On the sorting centre employees

Broken equipment and fires aren’t the only hazards at the sorting centre. Employees also handle mouldy objects, chemical or organic waste, and dangerous items such as used syringes. In addition to injury risks, toxic fumes and mould sometimes affect the health of employees in contact with the materials on a daily basis. Even if accidents don’t occur every day, health of employees is a priority. Every material put in the bin has an impact : let’s make sure it’s a positive one. 

curbside recycling system

On the curbside recycling system

When a bin is filled correctly, the whole system runs run more smoothly and efficiently. These good habits also have positive effects on the circular economy. But what is the circular economy? It’s a model of production and consumption that aims to create value without depleting the planet’s resources. Instead of throwing out recyclable materials and producing new ones, we recycle and transform them. We give them a second life.  What's more, we create jobs and stimulate the local economy

Being mindful of what we put in our blue bins helps improve the system so that more containers, packaging and printed papers can be recycled efficiently. That means more valuable, high-quality recycled products and less wasted resources. A curbside recycling system that runs smoothly allows us to discover and develop new markets.  

What goes in the bin?

Place containers, packaging and printed paper in the recycling bin. That’s it.

See what goes in the bin

Got questions? We’ve got the answers.

Learn more about recovery in Quebec.

See the FAQ page